Jordan foils Iran-led plot to smuggle weapons into the kingdom

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Jordanian authorities thwart Iranian-led plot to smuggle weapons into the US-allied kingdom.

AMMAN, Jordan, May 15: Jordanian authorities have thwarted a suspected Iranian-led plot to smuggle weapons into the US-allied kingdom, according to two Jordanian sources with knowledge of the matter.

The weapons were allegedly sent by Iranian-backed militias in Syria to a cell of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan that has links to the military wing of Palestinian group Hamas. 

The cache was seized when members of the cell, Jordanians of Palestinian descent, were arrested in late March.

The alleged plot and arrests come at a time of heightened tensions in the Middle East, with an American-backed Israel at war in Gaza with Hamas, part of Iran’s “Axis of Resistance” network of proxy groups.

The two Jordanian sources, who requested anonymity, declined to specify what acts of sabotage were allegedly being planned, citing ongoing investigations and covert operations. 

However, they stated that the plot aimed to destabilize Jordan, a country that could become a regional flashpoint in the Gaza crisis.

Jordan’s King Abdullah is walking a tightrope, struggling to reconcile support for the Palestinian cause with a long-standing US alliance and decades-old recognition of Israel. 

The war has sparked widespread public anger, with calls by protesters to cut ties with Israel and street demonstrations erupting in recent weeks.

Jordanian authorities believe Iran and its allied groups like Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah are trying to recruit young, radical members of the kingdom’s Brotherhood to their anti-Israel, anti-US cause in a bid to expand Tehran’s regional network of aligned forces.

Over the past year, Jordan has said it has foiled many attempts by infiltrators linked to pro-Iranian militias in Syria who it says have crossed its borders with rocket launchers and explosives1. Iran has denied being behind such attempts.

The Jordanian decision to join Western powers in the downing of Iranian drones bound for Israel was partly driven by fears among officials that the kingdom could be sucked into Iran’s strategic struggle against Israel1. The military intervention also aimed to signal to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government that Jordan was a crucial buffer zone for regional security.

As investigations continue and tensions remain high, Jordan’s delicate balancing act between supporting the Palestinian cause and maintaining its alliances with the US and Israel will be put to the test.

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