Jordan summons Iran envoy over ‘unacceptable’ comments on king

The Iranian ambassador to Amman was summoned on Sunday, over comments made describing King Abdullah as ‘silly and careless’.

Jordan summoned Iran’s ambassador to Amman at the weekend, the foreign ministry confirmed, after an Iranian official slammed comments by King Abdullah as “silly and careless”.

Amman’s foreign ministry said it had summoned Mujtaba Fardousi Bour, to deliver a “strongly worded protest” at “unacceptable” comments made by Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman.

On Thursday, King Abdullah told the Washington Post that Iran was involved in “strategic problems” in the region.

“There is an attempt to forge a geographic link between Iran, Iraq, Syria and Hizballah/Lebanon,” he said, adding that Iranian Revolutionary Guard troops are within 70 kilometres (45 miles) of Jordan’s border and that non-state actors approaching the frontier “are not going to be tolerated”.

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghassemi then responded on Sunday, describing the king’s comments as “silly and careless”.

“It appears that the Jordanian king made a fundamental and strategic mistake in defining terrorism,” he said.

Ghassemi said the Jordanian monarch’s comments showed “his ignorance and his superficial view of developments in the region.”

“It would be better if (Abdullah) put aside some of his time to study the logic, history and geography of the region,” he said.

Jordan hit back suggesting the Iranian remarks were “a failed attempt to misrepresent the central role the kingdom plays in supporting regional security and stability and fighting terrorism.”

Jordan, which hosts tens of thousands of refugees from the war in neighbouring Syria, is part of a US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group there and in Iraq.

Iran – along with Russia – is the closest ally of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and has provided money, weapons, military advisers and trainers, as well as volunteer militiamen to support it in the six-year civil war, despite international condemnation.