Jordan's King Abdullah Hopes 'To See a Change in Iran’s Behavior'

'We hope to see a change in Iran’s behavior,' King Abdullah tells local media, calling on Iran to stop interfering in Arab countries' 'internal affairs'

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Jordanian soldiers patrolling along the border with Syria, February.
Jordanian soldiers patrolling along the border with Syria, February.Credit: KHALIL MAZRAAWI - AFP

Jordan's King Abdullah II said that Arab states want "good relations" with Iran, but called on Tehran to "change its behavior" in an interview with Jordanian media published on Sunday.

"Iranian interventions have impacted a number of Arab countries, and we now regularly face attacks on our borders from Iran-linked militias" in Syria, the king told Jordanian newspaper Al Rai. "We hope to see a change in Iran’s behavior, and it must materialize on the ground, because it would be in the interest of everyone in the region, including Iran and its people."

The king, however, said that he wished to avoid "regional tensions" and that "all Arab countries seek good relations with Iran based on mutual respect, good neighborly relations and respect for countries’ sovereignty and non-intervention in their internal affairs."

Jordan's King Abdullah II in Washington, earlier this month.Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Despite stalling progress over a revival of the 2015 nuclear deal, Arab states have struck a more conciliatory tone with Iran in recent weeks, with the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia distancing themselves from the much-touted 'defensive' pact with the U.S. and Israel.

On Saturday, Baghdad said it would host the highest-level Saudi Arabian and Iranian delegation to date, in rapprochement talks between the regional rivals

King Abdullah reiterated his support for the two-state solution, based on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, and said that Jordan "will continue to counter attempts to change the historic and legal status quo" in Jerusalem, in reference to intensified attempts from Jewish extremists to pray at the Al-Aqsa compound.

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