(dpa) - The Jordanian government is moving to conclude a nuclear cooperation agreement with France that provides for exploiting uranium ores in the country and building a nuclear reactor for peaceful uses, local press reports said Sunday.
The government has already conducted negotiations with two international firms - one French and the other British - and decided to assign the task to the French company, the daily newspaper Alarab Alyawm reported, quoting "official sources."
According to the draft agreement due to be signed with the unidentified French firm, the company would exploit the uranium deposits in the country and the proceeds - estimated at about 1.5 billion dollars a year - would be used to finance the nuclear reactor, the sources said.
Industry estimates put Jordan's uranium deposits at about 180,000 tonnes, they added.
Jordan and other Arab countries have recently been advocating the idea of having their own nuclear programmes for peaceful uses in the wake of Iran's adamant drive to possess such technology.