Jordanian king names new energy chief amid plans for nuclear program

Jordan's King Abdullah II appointed on Wednesday appointed a new top energy official, according to the state Petra news agency, amid the country's stepped up ambitions for a peaceful nuclear program. A royal decree named Farouk al-Hiyari as Secretary General for the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Wealth, Petra reported. Before his appointment, al-Hiyari headed the Directorate of Industrial Energy at the ministry. In September, the United States signed an accord with Jordan aimed at supporting the peaceful development of the kingdom's nascent nuclear program. Under the agreement, the US will help its Mideast ally develop requirements for appropriate power reactors, fuel service arrangements, civilian training, nuclear safety, and energy technology.