Jordanian Foreign Minister’s Trip to Iran Draws Speculation About Pivot Towards Tehran
A recent visit to Tehran by Jordan’s foreign minister Nasser Joudeh has raised questions about the purpose of the trip, notably whether it was the first step in building a future relationship between the two countries, Al-Jazeera reported.
This recent Jordanian overture surprised many political observers and analysts in Amman including entities both supporting and opposing the government of Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, since neither Iran nor Jordan gave any indications of a shift in relations before the visit.
According to the report, the Jordanian government maintained a high level of secrecy over the details of the visit this past Saturday to the Iranian capital, with the exception of a brief official statement issued by the Jordanian News Agency. The statement only noted that Foreign Minister Joudeh visited Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and handed him a handwritten letter from King Abdullah II.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry declared months ago that it was assigning a new Jordanian ambassador to Tehran, Abdullah Abu Raman, but it tried to minimize expectations over the future course of relations between the countries. At the time, Jordanian officials leaked that the appointment of the ambassador was a mere diplomatic formality, and nothing more.
The Jordanian king has voiced concerns in the past over Iranian regional designs, and years ago issued a famous warning against the danger of the “Shi’a Crescent” to the security and stability of the region.
Both opposition and pro-government political entities in Amman maintained their silence over the visit, noting that they lacked any information regarding the reasons for the visit or its goals.
The leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood told Al-Jazeera that the Brotherhood preferred patience before formulating a position over the Jordanian move, in order to clarify the reasons and purpose of the visit before making any decisions.