Interests, trust and security in US-Jordanian nuclear relations

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El-Anis, I (2014)

This article explores the relationship between Jordan and the United States (US) in the field of nuclear energy cooperation. Since 2010 the Jordanian government has accelerated its plans for a nuclear energy program and has engaged with multiple partners around the world in order to agree terms for cooperation in technology exchange, monitoring, and the construction of infrastructure. Bilateral negotiations between the US and Jordan for a "123" nuclear cooperation agreement were underway by early 2008, but were suspended in 2011 without an agreement being reached. Jordanian nuclear energy policy has been spurred by energy security considerations (as it currently imports 97 percent of its energy needs) and the discovery of up to 120,000 tonnes of uranium ore in Jordan. At the same time, the US is primarily interested in management of nuclear technology proliferation. This work considers the perceptions of self and other in Jordanian and US policymaking in order to understand why bilateral cooperation has not materialized and what this means for nuclear proliferation in Jordan. This study finds that the US–Jordanian negotiations have been impeded by contradictory objectives and perceptions, and a "123" agreement is not likely in the short to medium term, but that development of Jordan’s nuclear energy program will likely continue regardless.
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