Photo Credit: European Parliament
His Majesty King Abdullah II, King of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, January 15, 2020.

Jordanian authorities thwarted an Iranian scheme to smuggle arms into the kingdom, aimed at arming groups opposed to the monarchy and enabling them to conduct sabotage operations, according to Reuters, citing two Jordanian sources privy to the details. The kingdom moved to disrupt the plot.

The sources indicate that the weapons smuggling operation was facilitated by Iranian proxies in Syria, to arm a local Muslim Brotherhood faction in Jordan that has ties to Hamas’ armed forces. Jordanian security forces interdicted the shipment by arresting the cell members “of Palestinian origin” within Jordan in late March and seizing the weapons cargo.


The Islamic Republic of Iran and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan share a long but tense relationship. In 2004, Jordanian King Abdullah II accused Ahmed Chalabi, an Iraqi dissident who was a favorite of the Bush II administration, of being an Iranian agent conspiring to attack Jordan.

In 2018, Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, a senior Iranian military commander, revealed that his country had intelligence data about military activity in Jordan, and threatened to attack if provoked.

On April 10, when Iran fired more than 300 missiles directly at Israel, Jordanian military personnel downed some of them, leading to Iran making threats against Jordan.

The Reuters sources refrained from disclosing the precise types of weapons confiscated in the March operation against the Muslim Brotherhood cell. However, they stated that Jordanian forces have thwarted multiple efforts by Iran and Iran-backed groups to traffic various munitions across the border in recent months, including Claymore mines, C4 and Semtex explosives, Kalashnikov assault rifles, and 107mm Katyusha rocket systems.


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