Last month, Jordan’s King Abdullah accused Israel of trying to prevent the creation of the civilian energy program, and while this was sort of shrugged off as conspiracy mongering at the time, it seems to have more than a grain of truth to it.
After months of railing at every other nation in the Middle East not named Israel for trying to create energy from uranium, reports now have the US threatening to pull all foreign aid from Jordan as the first step to punish them for their efforts to build a civilian nuclear program.
The issue seems not to be the program itself, but Jordan’s unwillingness to accept Israeli demands that the Jordanians “coordinate” all efforts with them and get permission from both the US and Israel before they move forward.
Jordan has sought to reduce its reliance on foreign energy imports, and perhaps even to create enough electricity to export it to some neighbors. But it would also increase their economic independence from the US, which would make them more difficult to order around in the realm of foreign relations.
Israel has maintained it would be willing to accept a limited Jordanian nuclear energy program, but only with a number of conditions attached. The US too has demanded that Jordan eschew enrichment and buy its uranium on the open market.