Jordan FM summons Iranian ambassador to protest interference in its affairs

Jordan FM summons Iranian ambassador to protest interference in its affairs
Jordan's FM was referring to comments in Iran's official media, which warned the kingdom that they would be targeted next if they cooperated with Israel.
3 min read
Ayman Safadi is the foreign minister of Jordan [Murtadha Al-Sudani/Anadolu Agency/Getty-archive]

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi has said his country summoned Iran's ambassador to protest against Iranian comments that were an interference in the kingdom's internal affairs.

In remarks given to public broadcaster Al-Mamlaka, Safadi was referring to comments in Iran's official media in recent days that warned Jordan would be the next target in the event they cooperated with Israel in a showdown with Iran.

Jordan's Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh said on Sunday any escalation in the region would lead to "dangerous paths" and that there was a need to reduce escalation by all parties.

In remarks to the cabinet, Khasawneh said the country's armed forces would confront any attempt by any party that sought to endanger the kingdom's security.

"There is need for all parties to act responsibly and exercise utmost degree of self restraint… and not be dragged towards any escalation that will no doubt have dangerous consequences," Khasawneh said.

Two regional intelligences sources said US air defences along with support from the UK and France had joined Jordan on Saturday to down dozens of Iranian drones and missiles that were flying over the country towards Jerusalem and across a wide range of targets in Israel.

Iranian drones that came from the direction of Iraq and flew over southern Jordan and the city of Aqaba that were heading to Israel's Eilat port were also intercepted, they added.

"The army will respond to anything that will jeopardise the security and safety of the kingdom and the sanctity of its airspace and territory in the face of any danger from any party with all the available means," Khasawneh said.

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Iran's attack on Israel was retaliation for an Israeli strike on Tehran's consulate in Damascus earlier this month, which killed seven members of the Islamic republic's Revolutionary Guards.

Jordan's King Abdullah also told US President Joe Biden in a phone call on Sunday that Jordan "won't be an arena for a regional war", adding any "escalation by Israel would only widen the circle of conflict", Al-Mamlaka said.

Jordan borders Syria and Iraq – both countries where Iranian proxy forces operate – and is also next door to Israel and the West Bank, which Israel illegally occupies.

It has watched Israel's war on Gaza with rising alarm for fear of getting caught in a crossfire.

Late last year, Amman asked Washington to deploy Patriot air defence systems to Jordan to bolster its border defences.

Officials say the Pentagon had since increased its military aid to the kingdom, a major regional ally, where hundreds of US troops are based and hold extensive exercises with the Jordanian army throughout the year.

Israel's war on Gaza has so far killed 33,797 people in the Strip.

Gaza has been plunged into a deep humanitarian crisis, with hospitals, ambulances, and residential buildings all coming under attack.

The International Court of Justice in January found that Israel was plausibly breaching the UN Genocide Convention in Gaza.

(Reuters, The New Arab)