March 1, 2015 Special Dispatch No. 5980

Former Jordanian Minister: We Must Not Allow Iranian Presence On Our Borders, Even At The Price Of War

March 1, 2015
Iran, Jordan, Jordan | Special Dispatch No. 5980

In the February 19, 2015 installment of his weekly column in Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, former Jordanian information minister Saleh Al-Qallab said that Iran is now on Jordan's border, having recently deployed military units in southern Syria. He stressed that Jordan must not allow its northern border become a de-facto border with Iran, even at the cost of war. He added that Iran was striving to redraw the map of the region while subjecting it to its influence. He also noted that Iran's current moves matched the predictions of the Jordanian king from 2004 that Iran would strive to create a Shi'ite crescent stretching from Lebanon through Iraq and Syria to Yemen. He warned the Arab states that they may be the next in line should Assad succeed in defeating the Syrian opposition. 

The following are excerpts from his article:

Saleh Al-Qallab (image:

Iran Concentrating Forces In Southern Syria, Facing Jordanian Border

"Immediately after Jordan launched its first airstrikes on ISIS and its bases in Syria's Al-Raqqa region, in retaliation for this terrorist organization's crime against the Jordanian pilot Mu'adh Al-Kasasbeh, [Syrian President] Bashar Al-Assad and his foreign minister, Walid Al-Mu'allem, hastened to accuse the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan of aiding and abetting terror. This proves that there is a common denominator between the Syrian regime and this satanic state [i.e., ISIS], which is, in fact, an Iranian product that emerged even before the American invasion of Iraq in 2003. These accusations were a prelude to importing [into Syria]even more army units that are sectarian or associated with a certain religious stream,including a new unit called the Fatimiyyoun [Brigade],[1] and concentrating them [in the region] south and south-west of Damascus. [These units were deployed]in the Syrian Golan, notfacing the Israeli occupation but rather facing the Jordanian borderregion, which includes major cities such as Irbid, which is considered to be Jordan's second-largest city after Amman. All these forces, obviously including Hizbullah and the [Iraqi]Abu Al-Fadel Al-'Abbas Brigade, are Iranian unitsthat have been deployed in this area as part of [Iran's] Al-Qods Force, commanded by General Qassem Soleimani, with the aim of transforming the border between Jordan and Syria into a border between Jordan and Iran. Jordan must not accept this situation, even if this leads to the outbreak of a war which, if it breaks out, will surely not be confined to the border region but will reach Damascus and beyond...

 "The [Assad] regime, which brought Syria into this dark tunnel,withdrew its forces from the region of the Jordanian border in hope that ISIS would fill the vacuum. But, to its surprise, it was the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and with it some [other] moderate Syrian opposition factions, all of whose members are Syrian, that [filled the vacuum]. That is what prompted Assad to take this recent move aimed at turning the Jordan-Syria border into a border between Jordan and Iran. The goal, of course, is to exhaust Jordan and infect it with the disease of terror, as the Syrian president threatened to do in the past when he said that the countries neighboring [Syria] would not be spared these terror organizations.[2]

Iran Working To Establish "Shi'ite Crescent" Stretching From Lebanon To Yemen

"In any case, it is clear that Iran, which has begun to occupy Iraq and Syria directly, is now working - perhaps by means of a secret deal with Israel, and certainly in conspiracy with the U.S. - to redraw the map of the Middle East. Otherwise, what is the meaning of all these army [forces] that it has concentrated on Jordan's borders and in the Syrian Golan on the border of the Israeli occupation, amid a suspicious Israeli silence? And what is the meaning of its strategic penetration into the south of the Arabian Peninsula with the excuse of helping the Houthis overtake Yemen in order to confront Al-Qaeda there, just as it is confronting terror on Syrian soil?!

"In a 2004 interview with the Washington Post, Jordan's King 'Abdallah II voiced concern about the advent of a pro-Iranian government in Baghdad that would cooperate with Tehran and Damascus in forming a crescent under Shi'ite influence...stretching all the way to Lebanon. This, in order to upset the existing balance with the Sunnis and create a Shi'ite (Persian) crescent in the region that would transform the political and economic interest map of some of the region's countries.

 "This was an [accurate] prediction of the future, and it is possible that the Houthis' current control of Sana'a and of large parts of Yemen proves that this Shi'ite or Persian crescent has already been established in practice. One of its horns is in Basra, Iraq, and the other has reached Shabwa [in Yemen] and is closing on Hadhramaut, Ma'rib and even Aden. [It also] passes through Syria, whose decision-making, like Iraq's, is in the hands of the Jurisprudent 'Ali Khamenei, and through Lebanon, which is ruled from the southern suburb of Beirut[i.e., Hizbullah's stronghold].

"Thus, Iran has become not only an important element in the region, but the foremost element, the only one the Obama administration recognizes, other than Israel. If Bashar Al-Assad manages to hold on and to defeat the Syrian opposition - who suffered and is still suffering both from weak Arab support and from the feeble American and European position - many Arab countries in the Middle East and the Maghreb will no doubt finger their throats [in fear, knowing that they are next]. For they have failed to understand that they sealed their own fate the day they abandoned their allies [i.e., the Syrian opposition], and that 'he who eats your brother for lunch will eat you for dinner'..."




[1]A force of Shi'ite Afghans that is fighting in the Dar'a region under the command of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC).

[2] See for example Assad's statements in his July 17, 2014 inauguration speech (, July 17, 2014).

Share this Report: