Jor­dan’s king wants im­proved ties with Iran

The Pak Banker - - 6international -

AM­MAN: Jor­dan's King Ab­dul­lah II said Sun­day he was seek­ing "prac­ti­cal steps" to im­prove his frosty re­la­tions with Iran, a con­trast to his regime's fre­quent crit­i­cism of Iran's poli­cies.

The call came in a closed­door meet­ing with Es­fan­diar Rahim Mashai, di­rec­tor of Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ah­madine­jad's of­fice, Ab­dul­lah's Royal Court said in a state­ment.

Ab­dul­lah has been one of Iran's harsh­est crit­ics in re­cent years, warn­ing that its grow­ing in­flu­ence in the re­gion could un­der­mine him and other proAmer­i­can mod­er­ates.

The Royal Court state­ment said Ab­dul­lah ac­cepted Ah­madine­jad's in­vi­ta­tion to visit Tehran soon, but no date was set.

The Jor­da­nian state­ment quoted Ab­dul­lah as say­ing it was "im­per­a­tive to un­der­take prac­ti­cal steps for im­prov­ing Jor­da­nian-Ira­nian re­la­tions in the ser­vice of both coun­tries, their broth­erly peo­ple and joint Is­lamic causes and to con­sol­i­date se­cu­rity and sta­bil­ity in the re­gion." It gave no de­tails of what steps might be taken.

As early as 2004, Ab­dul­lah warned of Iran's grow­ing in­flu­ence in Iraq and the rest of the re­gion.

In U.S. ca­bles re­leased by Wik­iLeaks, U.S. Am­bas­sador to Jor­dan Stephen Beecroft quoted Jor­da­nian of­fi­cials de­scrib­ing Iran as an "oc­to­pus" whose ten­ta­cles "reach out in­sid­i­ously to ma­nip­u­late, fo­ment, and un­der­mine the best laid plans of the West and re­gional mod­er­ates." Iran's "ten­ta­cles" in­clude Qatar, Syria, the mil­i­tant Hezbol­lah in Le­banon, Ha­mas in the Pales­tinian territories, an Iraqi govern­ment linked to Iran and Shi­ite com­mu­ni­ties across the Mideast, ac­cord­ing to the ca­bles. -Ap

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