King Abdullah: Iranian threat may lead more Arab countries to normalize ties with Israel

Referencing Saudi officials who have spoken out against the Iran deal, Abdullah said “the nuclear program affects Israel as it does the Gulf.”

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

In his first international media appearance since a reported coup attempt in April 2021, Jordanian King Abdullah II spoke to CNN on Sunday about the Iranian threat and the Hashemite kingdom’s relationship with Israel.

As nuclear talks stall and Iran ramps up its uranium enrichment, Abdullah revealed that Jordan views the Islamic Republic as a major threat to regional stability.

“Unfortunately, Jordan has been attacked by drones that have come out that are Iranian signature that we have to deal with,” Abdullah said, adding that the attacks have taken place over the last year.

When asked if he supports Iran rejoining the 2015 nuclear deal, Abdullah demurred. He cited “legitimate concerns in our part of the world ….that the Americans are hopefully going to be able to discuss with the Iranians.”

Referencing Saudi officials who have spoken out against the deal, he said that “the nuclear program affects Israel as it does the Gulf.”

On the heels of the signing of the Abraham Accords, Abdullah said he has “noticed that a trend from Arab countries that are looking at their national security interests… the shadow of Iran along with a lot of the regional challenges…that see the option of having a relationship with Israel in their vested interest.”

Abdullah said that he was dismayed to see internal unrest in the Jewish State during May 2021’s Operation Guardian of the Walls.

“Since 1948, this was the first time I feel that a civil war happened in Israel,” he said. “And I think that was a wake-up call for the people of Israel and the people of Palestine, that unless we move along, unless we give hope to the Palestinians…the next war will be even more damaging.”

After years in which tensions ran high between Israel and Jordan, Abdullah said he was very “encouraged” after meeting with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.

Abdullah’s ultimate goal, he said, is to help facilitate a two-state solution in order to bring about an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I think we’ve seen in the past couple of weeks not only a better understanding between Israel and Jordan, but the voices coming out of both Israel and ‘Palestine’ that we need to move forward and reset that relationship,” he said.