The Arab countries are trying to reduce tensions in the region and have entered the phase of direct talks with Iran, and even a country like the United Arab Emirates that had adopted the policy of hostility has shifted its attitude and has entered the course of interaction. Meanwhile, Jordan is still sticking to another path and refuses to exercise interaction with Iran, although it is believed to be deeply upset at the US and Israel.
Jordan is a small country with very tough economic conditions that tries to overcome its economic crises with financial assistance from the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. However, its policy has met with little success so far. Jordan’s economy is suffering from two major problems, inflation and fuel — the two factors that have always put pressure on the Jordanian governments, have triggered occasional social or economic protests against the governments, and have brought them down. Economy is the Jordanian government’s Achilles’ heel. This has encouraged different countries, particularly the US, to pressurize Jordan’s government to fulfill their own interests.
Amman has so far stood idly by in the face of the US pressures, to the extent that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is in charge of the so-called “deal of the century” case, visit Amman, humiliate Jordanians, give orders, and force Jordan to follow their dictates. The Jordanian officials maintain that those three American officials are very tough and stern, and that they have no choice but to obey their orders, because disobedience will cause a lot of problems given the country’s fragile economy.
Jordan is dissatisfied with the deal of century and is well aware that the initiative will damage its interests and may even pose a serious threat to its territorial integrity, but is supporting the plan reluctantly. Jordan attended the Manama meeting on the deal of century only under pressure from the United States and approved the half-baked and peculiar American and Israeli plans.
Such passiveness and submission has made Jordan side with the US over Iran’s case. Informed sources reveal that Jordan has turned into a center for anti-Iranian activities, in a way that the hostile and anti-Revolutionary groups such as the Muhajedhin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and PJAK are there, but the Jordanian government is not preventing any of those hostile measures. Since the very first day after the overthrow of deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, many remaining members of Iraq’s Ba’ath Party fled to Jordan and are still active there. During the fall of Mosul, Jordan had become a think tank for the Ba’athist masterminds of ISIS. Even amid the Syrian crisis, Jordan was an operations room for the American and Saudi measures against Bashar al-Assad’s government. Several big hostile terrorist operations against Syria and Assad’s government have been orchestrated from inside Jordan, nearly all of which ended in failure. Even at present, the Ba’athists are in contact with the MKO members through Jordan, but the Amman government has given a muted response to such connections. Moreover, the MKO members make contacts with Israelis via Jordan’s soil, while the intelligence agency of Jordan prepares the ground for those contacts in some cases.
There are also reports that Jordan, under the US pressure, plans to create a think tank against Iran. One of the measures that Jordan has taken under this policy has been its attempt to reach out to Iraq with the purpose of keeping Iraq away from Iran. Americans have urged Jordan to satisfy Iraq’s economic demands as much as possible to help it reduce economic dependence on Iran. The US has put heavy pressures on both Amman and Baghdad to achieve that objective. In such a hostile approach, Israelis play a role, too.
Under pressure from the US, Jordan even rejects an envoy from Iran and refuses to do anything for normalization of ties with Tehran. Amman has adopted such an approach while Iran has not taken any measure against Jordan and has never taken a retaliatory action for the big venue Jordan has provided for the anti-Iranian elements.
Amman needs to realize that keeping up the hostile policies against Iran, even if adopted reluctantly, will be ultimately detrimental to itself.
With blind obedience, Amman is simply following orders from Bolton, Pompeo and Kushner, and has turned a blind eye to the fact that unquestioning obedience to American orders could finally backfire against Jordan itself. The public opinion and history have not still forgotten the Black Friday in Jordan, in which the Americans had a direct role and were acting against Amman, while they pretended to be a friend of the Jordanian government.