April 15, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11277

Jordan Explains Its Participation In Thwarting Iran's Attack On Israel: We Defended Our Borders And People, Oppose Any Iranian Attempt To Violate Our Sovereignty

April 15, 2024
Iran, Jordan | Special Dispatch No. 11277

Jordan's participation in the interception of the drones and missiles launched by Iran at Israel on April 14, 2024 sparked criticism from elements associated with the Iran-led resistance axis. They accused Jordan of collaborating with Israel and defending it, and some even called Jordan's King Abdullah a traitor.[1] The Jordanian establishment, for its part, explained its actions by underscoring its commitment to defending Jordan's borders and the security of its people and rejecting Iran's hegemonial ambitions at Jordan's expense. Jordan, it should be noted, has long been concerned about Iran's subversive activity on its soil, concerns that increased after the outbreak of the Gaza war.[2] The Iranian attack via Jordan's airspace was therefore perceived not only as an infringement of Jordan's sovereignty but also as an attempt by Iran to expand its regional influence into the kingdom.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi clarified that the country has a permanent policy of defending its airspace and that it would have thwarted a similar attack launched by Israel through its airspace. Government spokesperson Muhannad Al-Mubaidin explicitly condemned Iran, stating that the government refuses to let Jordan be used by a country that is trying to "promote regional agendas" at its expense.

The Jordanian press joined the efforts to repel the criticism. The state daily Al-Rai explained in an editorial that Jordan has a clear policy that leads it to repulse any  threat to its citizens, and that the kingdom will not be an arena for score-settling by other countries. A columnist in the same daily attacked Iran, accusing it of deliberately using Jordan's airspace in order to destabilize the kingdom, when it could have used the airspace of Syria, where IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi – whose death Iran sought to avenge with the attack on Israel – was actually assassinated.  

This report presents Jordan's attempts to repel the criticism it incurred for its role in intercepting Iran's drone and missile attack on Israel.

Jordanian Government: Jordan Has The Right To Manage Its Affairs According To Its Own Interests; We Will Not Help Iran To Promote Its Agendas In Jordanian Territory

At the conclusion of a cabinet meeting on April 14, 2024, the government of Jordan announced that "several flying objects that entered our airspace tonight were intercepted to prevent them from endangering the welfare of our citizens and populated areas." It emphasized that the Jordanian army and security forces would intercept "anything that endangers or undermines the safety and security of the homeland and the citizens or Jordan's honor, its airspace or its territory, by every possible means."[3]

In statements to the Al-Mamlaka TV channel, Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi said that missiles and drones have fallen in Jordan in the past and that there is "an ongoing policy to intercept anything that endangers Jordan, because our top priority is defending Jordan, the lives and property of its people and the country's security and stability." Explaining that, according to assessments, "there was imminent danger of drones or missiles falling in Jordan, and the Jordanian armed forces dealt with this danger in the appropriate manner," he stressed that Jordan would have done the same if the attack had come from Israel. "We will not permit anyone to jeopardize the security of Jordan and the Jordanians… This is a matter of principle and these are steps we have taken in the past. We took them yesterday and we will take in the future, whether the source of the threat is Israel, Iran or any [other] element."[4]

Muhannad Mubaidin, Jordan's government spokesman, criticized Iran more explicitly, saying that Jordan "refuses to be a conduit for any country that aspires to promote its ideologies and regional agendas on Jordanian territory." He added that "Iran has tried several times in the past to achieve its objectives in the region, but Jordan asserts its independence and its right to manage its own affairs in accordance with its national and regional interests."[5]

Jordanian social media activist and politician Madallah Al-Nawarseh, one of the founders of the Jordanian Eradaa political party, shared a post on his X account which read, "A Jordanian who loves his homeland should rejoice that Jordan has the ability to intercept Iranian drones and ballistic missiles. This means that we are a country that possesses significant military capabilities and is able to defend its borders and airspace from Iran and its  proxies."[6]

Editorial In State Daily Al-Rai: Jordan Is Not An Arena For Settling Scores, Will Repel Any Threat To Its Security

The April 15, 2024 editorial of the state daily Al-Rai clarified that Jordan has a clear and consistent policy of thwarting any threat to the security of its people, and stressed that the kingdom refuses to be an arena for score-settling by foreign elements. It said: "…Jordan was clear from the start, conveying the following message to all sides in equal measure: Our airspace is not an arena for settling scores. There is plenty of historical evidence for this entrenched Jordanian principle, which is essentially based on the Jordanian principle of mutuality on the regional and international levels. This mutuality is part of a preexisting plan and has nothing to do with the targets and goals of any drones or missiles. Whoever thinks that Jordan can serve as a passive arena while forgoing its sovereignty and risking its security is unfamiliar with Jordan's rules of engagement on the political, security and military levels.  These rules obligated Jordan's armed forces to prevent [the entry of] any drones and missiles that, according to radar alerts, could land on Jordanian soil or threaten population centers in Jordan.

"The clear objective was [to fulfill] the duty towards the homeland and the citizens, and the state and army did not take sides in any political game.  Those who rushed to blame Jordan should have waited till morning and listened to the statements of the Iranian foreign minister, who translated the blow [delivered to Israel] into political achievements and then [expressed] an inclination to a ceasefire, while pointedly insisting that Iran had been careful not to hit economic interests or population centers in Israel. Even if the Jordanians resented some of the groundless commentary and statements [made against them], which were not based on any proof or knowledge, they know that they performed their duty in the correct and necessary manner and protected their citizens and interests.

"Jordan did not emerge in the region yesterday, and if there is any country that can present a coherent and unshakable narrative… it is Jordan. [Iran's] retaliation against Israel must not threaten Jordan's interests nor terrify and endanger its citizens, even if most if the missiles were not carrying warheads, as was revealed by the missiles that landed on Jordanian soil. Jordan is not a chessboard for this conflict and cannot be treated as empty space. Jordan is a deep-rooted country that has endured many trials and waged its wars at the right time based on an assessment of its national interests. It has an experienced and skilled army that can repel any danger threatening the country without paying any heed to the considerations of others and their overt or covert deals. "[7]

Al-Rai Columnist: Iran Operated In Jordan's Airspace As Part Of Its Plan To Destabilize This Country, When It Could Have Attacked From Syria

In his April 15, 2024 column in Al-Rai, Alaa Al-Qarala attacked Iran, accusing it of using Jordan's airspace in a bid to destabilize this country. He also pointed out that Iran could have used the airspace of Syria, which is allied with it and where the Iranian commanders whose death Iran was seeking to avenge were assassinated. He wrote: "The crooks and deluded people thought they could perform their farces, which highlighted their insolence and lies and proved that they are capable of nothing but talking and developing theories. [But] there are falcons in our skies and lions on our land that are ready and willing to defend our homeland on the ground and in the air. Where did those people, who allowed themselves to use [Jordan] to settle imaginary scores, come from?...

"Since its founding, Jordan has not let any party or country violate its sovereignty for any reason or use its land or airspace to carry out military action against anyone – and this in order to protect its sovereignty and the security of its people…

"Everyone understands and knows the scope of the pressures and the plots being hatched against us day and night by enemies who hide behind a screen of lies and deception [that conceals] their ambitions and destructive expansionist goals. Their aim is to destabilize Jordan and drag it and its people into the realms of hate, so that [this hate] will be used as a tool to settle scores between various elements. Our northern front, which is targeted on a daily basis by militias subordinate to a certain regional country [i.e., Iran], may be the best proof of the extent of the conspiracies against us.  

"Nobody denies or ignores the ambitions of certain countries regarding Jordan and their desire to destabilize us and carry out their regional plots by having the militias in southern Syria smuggle drugs, weapons and other contraband [into Jordan]. After they failed to infiltrate our territory and gave up, they began thinking about dragging Jordan into their imaginary wars – which are [nothing but] talk – by using its airspace to settle sores and realize their expansionist agenda in the region… They do not use the airspace of a neighboring country with which they have a strategic alliance, namely Syria, although their consulate was bombed in that country's capital and although that is where they are attacked on a daily basis…"[8]


[1],,,,, April 14, 2024.

[3], April 15, 2024.

[4], April 14, 2024.

[5], April 14, 2024.

[6], April 14, 2024.

[7] Al-Rai (Jordan), April 15, 2024.

[8] Al-Rai (Jordan), April 14, 2024.

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