Jordan king makes unfounded claims against Iran
In an interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, the Jordanian king struck a note of warning about a range of alleged Iranian hostile activities in the region and hoped that these activities be addressed in the current nuclear talks between Iran and the remaining parties to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
“There are legitimate concerns in our part of the world on a lot of portfolios that the Americans are hopefully going to be able to discuss with the Iranians,” King Abdullah said. “So, the nuclear program affects Israel as it does the [Persian] Gulf. The ballistic technology has improved dramatically, we’ve seen that unfortunately against American bases in Iraq. We’ve seen Saudi being a recipient of missiles out of Yemen. Israel from Syria and Lebanon to an extent and what misses Israel sometimes lands in Jordan.”
The Jordanian king went so far as to claim that his country has been targeted by Iranian-made drones, a bizarre claim that was made for the first time by Abdullah.
“And unfortunately, Jordan has been attacked by drones that have come out that are Iranian signature that we have had to deal with,” he claimed.
While the king claimed that these drone attacks took place in the “past year or so” and are “escalating”, the Jordanian press has never reported any drone attacks by Iran against Jordan. Nor has it reported any Iranian missiles missing Israel and landing in Jordan. This may explain the confusion that emerged among regional observers after the king’s remarks.
Iran has always sought to be on good terms with Jordan despite its occasional hostile remarks against Tehran. For instance, nearly four months ago Iran expressed support for King Abdullah when he faced a foreign-backed scheme by his half-brother Prince Hamzah bin Hussein to depose him.
Referring to the developments in Jordan, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh emphasized at the time the significance of peace and stability in Jordan.
Khatibzadeh said in a statement that any internal instability and tension in the West Asia region benefits the Zionist regime.
“This regime's fingerprint can always be found in any sedition in Islamic countries,” he noted.
He highlighted Iran's amicable relations with Jordan, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is opposed to any internal instability and foreign interference, and believes all internal affairs of countries must be pursued within the framework of law.”
Israel and some Arab states such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates were widely rumored to be behind what the Jordanian government called “the sedition” to oust King Abdullah.
In his recent interview, however, King Abdullah appeared to be soft on the plotters and hard on those who voiced support for him during his times of difficulty.
The Jordanian king disclosed that he met with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Defense Minister Benny Gantz before heading to Washington. He said he felt encouragement during his meetings with the Israeli officials.
“It was important for me not only to meet with the Palestinian leadership after a war, which I did, with Abu Mazen [Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas]; I met the prime minister; I met General Gantz. We really have to get people back to the table, under that umbrella of how do we get Israelis and Palestinians to talk — maybe understanding the challenges that this government may not be the most ideal government, in my view, with the two-state solution (which is the only solution) — how can we build [understanding] between Jordan and Israel, because it has not been good, but more importantly, from my view, is getting the Israelis and Palestinians engaging again,” King Abdullah said.
He added, “And I came out of those meetings feeling very encouraged, and I think we have seen in the past couple of weeks, not only a better understanding between Israel and Jordan, but the voices coming out of both Israel and Palestine that we need to move forward and reset that relationship.”
It strains the imagination to think that King Abdullah has forgotten what the Israelis and their newfound friends in the Persian Gulf did to him. One thing that could explain his animosity toward Iran is his old habit of bashing Iran with the purpose of propitiating regional allies.
In the interview, King Abdullah refused to explicitly point the finger of the blame at Saudi Arabia for playing a role in the Prince Hamzah plot.
It should not be forgotten that it was King Abdullah who coined the phrase “Iranian crescent” to denote Iran’s influence in the region and accused it of meddling, accusations that drew a harsh response from the then spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry, Bahram Qassemi, who described the Jordanian king’s remarks as against the calls by the people and most countries of the region for establishing lasting peace and security.
“Such unfair statements cannot deny Iran’s stabilizing role, relentless efforts in fight against terrorism and its contribution to establishing security in the region,” Qassemi said, adding, “Such remarks only benefit the ill-wishers, occupiers and aggressors who cannot put up with the peace, economic development, territorial integrity and national sovereignty of the states in this sensitive region of the world.”
Source: Tehran Times