Iran underlines significance of stability in Jordan, warns of Israeli sedition

April 5, 2021 - 21:32

TEHRAN – In its first reaction to the recent developments on Jordan, Iran on Sunday underlined the need to maintain stability in the Arab country, warning that any instability would benefit Israel.

“Any internal instability and tension in the West Asia region will benefit the Zionist regime [Israel],” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement. He emphasized the significance of peace and stability in Jordan.

“This regime's fingerprint can always be found in any sedition in Islamic countries,” Khatibzadeh noted.

He highlighted Iran's amicable relations with Jordan, saying, “The Islamic Republic of Iran is opposed to any internal instability and foreign interference, and believes all internal affairs of countries must be pursued within the framework of law.”

High-profile figures in Jordan, including a member of the royal family and a longtime confidant of King Abdullah II, were arrested on Saturday in what appeared to be a nascent palace intrigue nipped in the bud.

Deputy Prime Minister of Jordan Ayman Safadi said on Sunday that Prince Hamzah and his inner clique’s scheme to undermine the security and safety of Jordan was foiled, according to the Jordan Times.

Safadi said between 14 to 16 people were arrested for attempting to jeopardize the safety and stability of Jordan. The suspects included former minister Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid.

In a press briefing on Sunday, Safadi said that Jordanian security agencies, through long-term and comprehensive joint investigations by the Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army, the General Intelligence Department, and the Public Security Directorate, have been following activities and movements by Prince Hamzah, Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, Awadallah and others.

The investigations have detected interferences and communications, including some with foreign entities, on the “ideal timing” for taking steps towards destabilizing Jordan’s security, Safadi continued.

These investigations lead security agencies to recommend King Abdullah that these activities and those responsible for them be referred to the State Security Court, to undertake legal proceedings in light of preliminary investigations showing that these activities and movements have reached a point that directly impacts Jordan’s security and stability.

“However, His Majesty asked that there be a conversation with Prince Hamzeh to resolve the issue within the family and to get him to reconsider these activities, which target and tamper with the security of Jordan and Jordanians, and are at odds with the traditions and values of the Hashemite family. These efforts are still underway, but Jordan’s security and stability are above all else, and the necessary legal measures will be taken to safeguard them,” Safadi noted.

The deputy prime minister added, “I would like to note here that initial investigations proved there was communication between Prince Hamzeh’s inner circle and external parties, including the so-called ‘external opposition’, through which allegations and messages were passed to foreign sources, aiming to employ these allegations against national security and to spread disinformation.”

Jordan state news agency, Petra, reported on Saturday night that Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a member of the royal family, and Bassem Awadallah, a longtime confidant of King Abdullah II, were arrested for “security reasons” after a close security investigation.

Citing a security source, the news agency said an investigation into the issue was underway. It also said that other people were arrested along with the two high-profile figures but it stopped short of naming them.

Another high-profile figure - Hamzah bin Hussein - was claimed to be arrested. Unverified news reports claimed that bin Hussein, a half brother of King Abdullah, was arrested. But Jordanian Army Chief of Staff Major General Yousef Huneiti said “claims that have been published about his highness Prince Hamzah having been arrested are not true.”

According to Huneiti, Prince Hamzah had been asked to “stop movements and activities that are employed to target the security of Jordan and its stability.”

“Investigations are ongoing and the outcome will be announced with all due transparency,” he noted, adding, “All measures have been taken according to the law, and no one is above the law. Jordan’s security is above all considerations.”

In a video passed by his lawyer to the BBC, Prince Hamzah denied reports of him being part of a foreign-backed conspiracy but described the ruling system as corrupt.

“[Jordan's] well-being has been put second by a ruling system that has decided that its personal interests, financial interests, that its corruption is more important than the lives and dignity and future of the ten million people who live here,” he asserted.

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