Jordan’s King Abdullah told CNN on Sunday that this year, his country has faced an increasing number of attacks by Iranian-made drones. The issue came up while discussing the pro-Iranian stance of the Biden administration and its influence on the region.
King Abdullah: Iranian Drones
“Unfortunately, Jordan has been attacked by drones that have come out that are Iranian signature that we have to deal with,” King Abdullah said to CNN interviewer Fareed Zakaria. “[Iran’s] ballistic technology has improved dramatically. We’ve seen that, unfortunately, against American bases in Iraq. We’ve seen Saudi being the recipient of missiles out of Yemen. Israel from Syria and Lebanon, to an extent. And what misses Israel, sometimes lands in Jordan,” the king said.
Arab media noted that the king’s statement was unprecedented and shocking as the Jordanian press has never reported any drone attacks by Iran against Jordan.
Dr. Kedar: Iranian-backed Iraqi militias
Dr. Mordechai Kedar a senior lecturer on Arabic culture at Bar-Ilan University who served for 25 years in IDF Military Intelligence, noted that not only was King Abdullah’s statement unprecedented, it was also illogical.
“Jordan is not currently in a conflict with Iran nor do they have a reason to begin,” he said. “It could be that some people fled Iraq into Jordan and the pro-Iranian militias, who are Iranian proxies, attacked them. This could be people from al Qaeda or ISIS who are not particularly loved by Iraq.”
Dr. Kedar raised another possible explanation for the king’s statement.
“It could be that he said this, whether it is true or not, in order to gain support from the Biden administration,” Dr. Kedar said.
King Abdullah: first leader from region to meet with Biden
“And add to that increased cyberattacks on many of our countries, the firefights on our borders have increased almost to the times when we were at the high end with Daesh and unfortunately, Jordan has been attacked by drones that have come out, that are Iranian signature that we have had to deal with in the past year or so and escalated,” he said.
King Abdullah described the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas as a “wake-up call” for both sides, adding that there will be another conflict that will be even more devastating.
“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,” King Abdullah said.
King Abdullah, who is currently in the US for a two-week visit, did not harbor much hope for the success of negotiations intended to return the US to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action nuclear agreement with Iran
“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. “I have a feeling that where the American position is and where the Iranian position is, is somewhat far apart,” King Abdullah said.
“The nuclear program affects Israel as it does the Gulf,” said King Abdullah.
The king met with President Biden last week, making the leader of Jordan the first Middle East leader to visit the White House since the president took office.
“President Biden I have known since I was a young man visiting the Congress with my father when he was a young senator, so this is an old friendship. And my son has known the president; as Joe Biden was the vice president, my son used to go and visit him at his house and in his office, so it’s a family friendship.”
“As the first leader from that part of the world, it was important to unify messaging, because there are a lot of challenges. So, 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 (Benny) Gantz.”