Iran–Jordan relations

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Iran–Jordan relations



Islamic Republic of Iran and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan share a long but complicated relationship between two countries, in which mostly tense and unstable. Iran has an embassy in Amman.[1] Jordan has an embassy in Tehran.[2]

Historical relations[edit]


While there had been historical contacts between two nations, for most of Jordanian history, the country fell under various Persian rules, started from the Achaemenid Empire to the Sasanian Empire. Because of this, a lot of Persian cultural heritages and influences can be found in Jordan. Both were also later dominated by Islam, though Jordan went to become a Sunni one in contrast to the Shi'a aligned Iran.[3]

Pahlavi Iran[edit]

Iranian–Jordanian relations under the Pahlavi dynasty in Iran was cordial, being pro-West oriented and hostile against communism. At 1950s, King Hussein of Jordan inaugurated Jordanian embassy in Tehran, officially established relationship with Iran. However, sometimes relationship went tense, as Iran under the Pahlavi had official relations with Israel, and its distance from the conflict over Palestinian question. Nonetheless, they were able to have a secure and healthy relationship.[4] Hussein also made a number of visits to Iran under Pahlavi.[5]

Islamic Republic of Iran[edit]

The outbreak of Iranian Revolution and subsequent establishment of an Islamic regime in Iran changed drastically relationship from positive to negative. Jordan immediately backed Saddam Hussein on the Iran–Iraq War of 1980s[6] and Iran severed diplomatic tie with Jordan aftermath. Due to Jordan's support for Iraq, even during the Gulf War,[7] it took a decade before Iran and Jordan could normalize its relations.

On 2 and 3 September 2003, King Abdullah II of Jordan visited Tehran, making him the first Jordanian king to visit "Tehran since the launching of the Islamic revolution in Iran in 1979".[8]

Nonetheless, relations between two countries remain tense, with Iran sees Jordan's alliance with the West as a threat; and there are little economic cooperations. In 2018, Jordan ruled out economic ties, citing Iran is not a member of the World Trade Organization.[9] Jordan often sides with Saudi Arabia and accuses Iran as the cause of instability across the Middle East, to even withdrawal of ambassador from Iran in protest over the 2016 attack on the Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran.[10]

Syrian Civil War[edit]

Jordan's relations with Iran went further complicated as Jordan unofficially stated against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria (an ally of Iran), considering Iranian long-term presence in Syria as a threat to its security.[11][12][13]


Jordan was believed to make attempt on trying to remove Iranian influence out of Iraq, as Iraq is seen by Iran as its backyard. In January 2019, Jordan moved to restore the official relations with Iraq, which was damaged under previous Saddam's Government and lacked of interests.[14] This created wary and resentment from the Iranian Government toward growing Jordanian involvement in Iraq.[15]

Jordan's ties with Israel and Saudi Arabia[edit]

Another key reason making tensions between Jordan and Iran is Saudi Arabia and Israel.

For many years, Jordan heavily depends on Saudi economic assistants, and Jordan also shares strong support to Saudi Arabia, both are Arab monarchies with close tie to the West and strongly anti-Iranian. Growing Iranian influence brought Jordan and Saudi Arabia closer, with both denounced Iran together in spite of the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.[16]

Jordan also shares a close tie with Israel, since the Hashemites had unofficial relations with Israel in entire of the Cold War unil 1994 when two countries established relations. Iranian Government, which is ruled by Islamists since 1979, doesn't recognize Israel and has called to eliminate Israel and pro-West Arab monarchies; prompted anti-Iranian reactions in both Jordan and Israel.[17] Jordan was also believed to have been working with Saudi Arabia, Russia and Israel in an attempt to curb Iranian involvement in Syria.[18]

Qatar crisis[edit]

Both Iran and Jordan had called to solve the Qatar crisis diplomatically in hope to limit tensions. Jordan, while has limited tie with Qatar, still maintains its diplomatic presence within the country, since Jordan is dependant on Gulf economically, especially after 2018 Jordanian protests.[19] On the other side, Jordan feared the escalation of tensions between Qatar and its Gulf neighbors Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates might give Iran an upper hand.[20]

Iranian network intelligence in Jordan[edit]

The threat of Iranian intelligence networks in Jordan has increased since the establishment of Islamic Government in Iran. In 2004, Jordanian King Abdullah II accused Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi, as an Iranian agent for providing to Iran ammunitions, weaponry and explosions to attack Jordan.[21]

In 2018, a top military commander of the Armed Forces of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, revealed that Iran has enough network intelligence data over the military movements, bases and its strength of a number of Arab countries in the Middle East, including Jordan; and has threatened to attack if they are provoked.[22]


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