Facing an increasing threat from Iran, the King Abdullah of Jordan needs Israel more than ever. Not only because its border with the Jewish state is its quietest, but because contrary to his statements about an “Arab military alliance,” he understands that the United States and Saudi Arabia might not be committed enough to him.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is a vengeful man, as proved by his choice to embarrass his guest, President Joe Biden, with leaks about their conversations pertaining to the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. The media heard how MBS preached that the values of other countries should be respected. And if that is how he treated the leader of the free world, then certainly he might act similarly with regards to Abdullah too. MBS surely remembers how in 2015, the Jordanian leader refused to join an Arab coalition in the Yemen war.
As for the US, similarly to other Arab leaders at the Jeddah summit, Abdullah got the impression that Washington is uninterested in confronting Iran. As such, in an interview with Jordanian media he said that if Tehran changed its ways, rapprochement would be a possibility.
“That’s what was agreed upon in Jeddah,” Pinhas Inbari, Mideast expert and senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center For Public Affairs, said. “The Arab countries had one question for Biden: What are you going to do with Iran? Will you give up on it and gain allies, or do you want to continue with the renewal of the nuclear deal?
“Biden provided no answer, and they were disappointed. This cold shoulder attitude is because Biden didn’t give a definitive answer. That’s why Arab countries are back to political games. They see Iran as an enemy, but they are not the ones pulling the strings.”
According to Jordanian commentators, the country faces four threats from Iran: the infiltration of terrorist cells; intelligence cooperation between Iranian militias; activation of dormant terror cells in Jordan; and the trend of “lone wolves,” followers of the Iranian Shi’ite revolution, who might get inspired to act on their own. This includes mysterious cyberattacks on Jordan, which have been attributed to “countries and organizations.”
Jordan is also struggling with drug trafficking. Iran’s goal is to flood the kingdom with weapons and drugs that will reach criminal gangs and eventually destabilize the government.
Jordan is also struggling with growing drug smuggling. By way of Syria, Iran’s goal is to flood the kingdom with weapons and drugs that will reach criminal gangs and eventually destabilize the government.
“The Jordanians see this as a strategic danger, the aim to turn the Jordanian youth into drug addicts,” Inbari explained. “The Syrian units are smuggling huge amounts of drugs into Jordan. There is a reinforcement of the Jordanian military at the border to stop this drug smuggling, which includes drones – they transport drones with drugs and land them in Jordan.”
Iran has at least two main interests in destabilizing Jordan, one connected to its imperialist ambitions and the second with its desire to pave an arms smuggling route for terrorist elements in the West Bank. As such, it is in Israel’s interest to help Abdullah.
But although he recently met with Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Abdullah continues to have considerations he cannot ignore, the most prominent of which is the Palestinian public that makes up half of Jordan’s entire population.
This, along with the anger of Bedouin tribes and the large migration of Iraqi immigrants to Jordan, decreases the chances of normalization with Israel.
Source » israelhayom