Jordan would welcome talks with Iran if the Islamic Republic’s officials stop making verbal assaults against regional countries, Minister of State for Media Affairs Mohammad Momani said yesterday. The Jordanian government’s spokesman was responding to criticism from an Iranian official of King Abdullah’s comments in the Washington Post.
Last Saturday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said that, “The king of Jordan seems to have made a strategic and fundamental mistake in defining terrorism, and the interpretations in his remarks simply show the shallowness of his view on the regional developments.” A day later, the Iranian ambassador in Amman was summoned to the foreign ministry to explain the “unacceptable” comments about the Jordanian monarch.
King Abdullah had told the Washington Post that Iran was involved in “strategic problems” in the region. “There is an attempt to forge a geographic link between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hezbollah/Lebanon,” he added.
Momani pointed out that Jordan maintains good relations with various countries, but stressed that the government in Amman does not accept Iran’s “flawed” remarks and assaults. He warned that the kingdom will respond to those statements “as they deserve.”
Jordan hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees from the war in neighbouring Syria and is part of the US-led coalition fighting Daesh extremists across the border and in Iraq. Iran, meanwhile, is siding with Russia and Moscow’s close ally, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. Tehran has provided money, weapons, military advisers and training, as well as volunteer militias to support the Assad regime in the country’s six-year civil war.