U.S. To Jordan: Change Your Nuclear Program or We’ll Cut Aid
Reports from Arab media sources, on Monday, indicated that U.S. authorities are demanding that Jordan share its uranium enrichment with Israel.
The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordon could lose its pecuniary aid from the United States should it continue to enhance its nuclear program without cooperation with Israel, Israeli news source Ynet reported.
Amman ignored Israeli requests to be involved in the extraction and enrichment of uranium which prompted the threat from Washington. The U.S. and Jordan discussed Jordan’s nuclear plan for six months, but the Jordanians were unable to obtain US approval.
The program began three years ago when over 65,000 tons of uranium ore, one of the largest deposits in the world, was discovered in the Jordanian desert.
All but five percent of Jordan’s energy is imported from other countries, primarily Saudi Arabia and Iraq. The enrichment program is a means by which The Hashemite Kingdom can shed some of its dependence on foreign sources of energy while gaining the ability to export power throughout the region.
Yet the Jordanian economy is hinged on American aid which limits its ability to hold its ground in talks with Washington. This year, the US transferred at least $665 million during the first half of the year, over half of which was for financial aid and the rest for military aid.
The aid Jordan receives from the US is to ameliorate Jordanian financial and social problems. Additionally the aid is sent to bolster national security as the US sees Jordan as a partner in the War on Terror.
King Abdullah condemned Israel for impeding his country’s efforts in its nuclear program last month. The king told the Wall Street Journal that France and South Korea were being persuaded by the Israeli government to not sell nuclear technologies to Jordan. He added that Israeli-Jordanian relations have sunk to a point they have not been since the two countries signed a peace agreement after being in a state of war for nearly half a century.