Jordan’s King Abdullah II has protested to “regular attacks” at his country’s borders by “militias linked to Iran” while it is grappling with drug smugglers on the frontier with Syria.
In an interview with Al-Rai newspaper published on Sunday, he called for “a change of behavior” from the Islamic Republic, noting that Amman “does not want tensions in the region.”
“Jordan, like the rest of Arab countries, seeks good relations with Iran, with mutual respect, good neighborliness, respect for the sovereignty of other states, and non-interference in their affairs,” King Abdullah said.
Referring to regular anti-smuggling operations on the border with Syria -- dominated by Iran-backed fighters – he said that Jordan, like other Arab nations, was being targeted by drugs and arms smugglers in transit between Europe and Persian Gulf countries. “Jordan is coordinating with its brothers (Arab countries) to confront this and protect its borders.”
Back in May, the Jordanian army said Iran-backed forces in the Syrian army and militias loyal to Tehran are trying to smuggle hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of drugs across the Jordanian border to Persian Gulf markets.
"The Jordanian armed forces are facing a war along the borders, a drugs war and led by organizations supported by foreign parties. These Iranian militias are the most dangerous because they target Jordan's national security," army spokesperson Colonel Mustafa Hiari said.
Jordan is concerned about Iran and its proxies filling a vacuum left by Russians in southern Syria, warning that this could lead to issues along the borders.