Iran envoy to Jordan summoned after Tehran calls king's statement 'foolish and irresponsible'

By YASSER OKBI/ MAARIV HASHAVUA
April 11, 2017 12:33

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry said it "strongly protests" Tehran's remarks about the monarch, and reminded the Islamic Republic to respect the "good neighborly relations with Arab states."

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Jordan's King Abdullah

Jordan's King Abdullah speaks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 12, 2016. (photo credit: REUTERS)

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry on Monday demanded that Iran's ambassador to Amman explain comments attributed to the Islamic Republic's Foreign Ministry after a spokesperson described a statement from King Abdullah II of Jordan as "foolish and irresponsible."

In an interview published by The Washington Post on April 6, Abdullah said that Iran has created "strategic problems" in the Middle East, while noting that Tehran is attempting to "forge a geographic link between...Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah in Lebanon."

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This spreading influence, Abduallah said, was bringing Israel and Arab states closer together who see Iran as a threat, creating a real "opportunity" for better relations between neighbors in the region.

"But the problem that is [standing] between the Arabs and the Israelis is the Palestinians," the monarch added.

"The whole point of our peace initiative is for us to be the guarantors of Israel’s security," Abdullah posited. "If we can solve the Palestinian problem, then this is a new era of stability in our area, where Israelis are truly a part of the neighborhood."

The king also said that Iran's Revolutionary Guards were in Syria and 70 kilometers away from the Jordanian border, adding that the kingdom would not tolerate Iranian advancement towards its territory.

Following The Washington Post interview, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Saturday that "the foolish and irresponsible statements by the king of Jordan indicate ignorance and a superficial understanding of the developments taking place in the region."

In response, the Jordanian Foreign Ministry said it "strongly protests" Tehran's remarks about the monarch, and reminded the Islamic Republic to respect the "good neighborly relations with Arab states."

"Iran's statements are a failed attempt to divert the kingdom's attention from its role in regional stability and security, including the war on terror, and its role in preventing [dialogue on] Arab issues and the suffering of Arab peoples," the Jordanian Foreign Ministry added. 


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