Jordan fears Arabs could pay for US-Iran dialogue: WikiLeaks

AMMAN- Jordan fears that any breakthrough dialogue between the United States and Iran could damage the interests of moderate Arab countries, according to US diplomatic cables published by WikiLeaks this week.
In a cable from the US ambassador to Jordan, Stephen Beecroft, dated April 2009, King Abdullah II is quoted as telling Washington's Middle East envoy George Mitchell that such dialogue could spark a rift between Arab states.

Jordan fears Arabs could pay for US-Iran dialogue: WikiLeaks
He fears "such engagement would reward regional hardliners while undermining Arab moderates, without convincing Iran to cease its support for terrorism, end its nuclear programme or drop its hegemonic aspirations," Beecroft wrote.
"The metaphor most commonly deployed by Jordanian officials when discussing Iran is of an octopus whose tentacles reach out insidiously to manipulate, foment, and undermine the best laid plans of the West and regional moderates.
"Iran's tentacles include its allies Qatar and Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon, Hamas in the Palestinian territories, an Iraqi government sometimes seen as supplicant to Tehran, and Shia communities throughout the region," he wrote.
The ambassador said Amman insisted that any Tehran-Washington dialogue does not take place at the expense of moderates in the Arab camp such as Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Palestinian Authority.
On Monday, a Jordanian government official said Amman's stand was "clear ... in opposing any military operation against Iran. It has warned against the catastrophic effects of such an act on the (region's) security and stability."
Jordan had repeatedly called for a diplomatic solution to the controversy over Iran's nuclear programme, which the West suspects is a cover to produce a nuclear bomb despite the denials of Tehran.
According to the WikiLeaks documents carried in newspapers since Sunday, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf leaders have urged the United States to attack Iran to destroy its nuclear programme.

Thursday, December 2nd 2010

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