Joint Jordanian-Israeli concern over Iran's growing military power

Saleh Naami in Gaza, Saturday 8 Jan 2011

Jordan and Israel have expressed equal concern over Iran's growing influence in Iraq, and the possibility of Iranian missiles being placed near Iraq's borders

An Israeli news website Debka, which specialises in espionage and security affairs, said that Jordan's King Abdullah II made a phone call to Israel's Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss Iran's efforts in setting up missiles near the Western Iraqi borders.

Debka quoted Israeli sources as saying that King Abdullah told Netanyahu that Iran's intensive involvement in Iraq is primarily directed at making the necessary preparations for situating missiles on the Jordanian-Iraqi border in a way that threatens Israel.

According to the website, Abdullah reproached US President Obama's muted reaction towards Iran's influence in Iraq. Netanuyahu assured the king of Israel's commitment to his and Jordan's security. The prime minister reportedly realises that the strategic interests of Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United States have taken a hit because of Iran's rising military influence in Iraq.

The site's Israeli sources conveyed their anxiety at the visit of Iran's Ali Akbar Saleh to Iraq as well as Moqtada Al-Sadr's return to the country. The latter is described as Iran's closest ally in Iraq.

Officials are worried about Sadr's Al-Mahdi Army being trained by the Iranian Army and Hizbullah elements. They also emphasised that the ties between Sadr and Hizbullah's leader Hassan Nasrallah have grown stronger.

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