Egypt and Jordan are growingly concerned with Teheran’s nuclear program, a senior defense official said this week, noting an increase in anti-Iranian rhetoric in both Arab countries.

Top Israeli delegations recently traveled to Jordan and Egypt for high-level talks with the political and security echelons on a widerange of issues including the Iranian nuclear threat.

Official: Urgency growing in both countries

One official, who was familiar with the content of the talks, said that in both countries there was a sense of “urgency” regarding the need to stop Iran’s nuclear progress.

“The urgency is growing in both countries since Iran’s nuclear program is continuing,” the official said.

Amman’s concern centers on the possibility that a nuclear Iran would provide an umbrella for opposition groups within Jordan such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Cairo is also challenged by Teheran’s nuclear development.

In April, 26 men were convicted of spying for Hizbullah and plotting attacks in Egypt.

The group was charged with planning attacks on tourists and shipping in the Suez Canal, and sending operatives and explosives to Gaza to aid terrorists there.

Cells are a direct 'challenge to Mubarak's regime'

The discovery of the cells, the official said, was seen as a direct challenge from Iran to President Hosni Mubarak’s regime.

While the increased concern in Amman and Cairo is not voiced publicly, the senior defense official said that it was helpful for Israel in garnering international support to stop Iran’s nuclear program.

“While there is not much that Jordan and Egypt can do to stop Iran, it is important for the United States and countries in Europe to hear that they, too, are concerned with Iran’s nuclear program,” the official said.

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