Jordan declines to Join in Iraq War (Again)
Jordan’s Foreign Minister Marwan al-Mu`ashir continued to maintain today that its territory could not be used in any U.S. attack on Iraq. He said that the US understands he constraints on his government.
He may have been referring to the anti-American fatwas issued at a recent gathering of Jordanian Muslim clerics in the capital of Amman, of the Islamic Action Front. This organization is a branch of the powerful Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan. The clerics called for jihad or holy war against the United States, which they branded an “enemy of God.”
Some splinter group of the Muslim Brotherhood is suspected in the recent assassination of Laurence Foley, a US AID diplomat in Amman.
Jordan is still extremely worried about the potential for massive disturbances throughout the Middle East that might ensue from a US Iraq campaign.
On other fronts, al-Mu`ashir called on the Palestinians to cease suicide bombings, so as to avoid strengthening the Israeli Likud party in the run-up to a new election early next year. He also expressed confidence that the Israelis would not, as some have feared, use a looming Iraq war as a cover to engage in ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians, pushing them en masse into Jordan. He said American pressure was sufficient to forestall such a development.