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Lawmakers Slam Invite to Jordan's King

Service : Politic
TEHRAN, March 15 (ICANA) – A senior Iranian lawmaker has denounced a December invitation extended to Jordan's King Abdullah II by Tehran to visit the country, insisting that the trip can be used to manipulate public opinion in the region.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011 2:31:50 PM
Lawmakers Slam Invite to Jordan's King

Chairman of Iran's Majlis (parliament) Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Alaeddin Boroujerdi said Monday, “King Abdullah is among major US allies in the region. The Jordanian king has always thrown his weight behind hostile US policies against Iran.”

Last December, Head of Iran's Presidential Office Esfandiyar Rahim-Mashaei extended an invitation on behalf of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to Jordan's King Abdullah, asking the monarch to visit Iran for this spring's Nowruz celebrations.

While welcoming the Iranian invitation, the Jordanian king told the presidential envoy that he was “keen to develop Iranian-Jordanian relations,” said a statement issued by Jordan's Royal Court.

The statement also quoted Abdullah as saying that it is of significant importance that Tehran and Amman try to “improve Jordanian-Iranian relations in the service of both countries, their brotherly people and joint Islamic causes, and to consolidate security and stability in the region.”

In his unusually harsh criticism of the government, Boroujerdi also emphasized that king Abdullah's visit to Iran at the current juncture would institute a “political clumsiness” and warned that Iran's Majlis would show “a reaction” to the trip.

The senior Iranian lawmaker pointed to the weakening position of regional countries that support the United States and said, “These countries feel a need to approach Iran to strike a balance with respect to the public opinion in their own countries.”

In recent weeks, thousands of Jordanians have staged peaceful protest rallies in the capital Amman and other cities, calling for political and economic reforms.

Protesters demanded that the country's prime minister be democratically elected rather than being appointed by the King.

In response to mass anti-government rallies, Jordan's prime minister has announced a pay increase for civil servants as well as pensions of retired employees and the expansion of a state subsidy program.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chairman of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Hossein Ebrahimi also strongly condemned the nearly four-month-old invitation to the Jordanian king and said, “Looking realistically at the current situation in the Arab world where people have revolted against their monarchs to demand their rights, we come to the understanding that such rulers are not qualified to be invited to Tehran.”

He added that the presidential invitation has brought under question the reputation of the Islamic establishment that has expressed support for all revolutionaries and freedom-seeking people in the world.

Adding that such invitations would have negative impact on the morale of our people, he reiterated that it would also run counter to national interests of the Islamic Republic and warned that the Jordanian king should know that the Iranian nation is vigilant.

Yet another member of the Majlis Committee on National Security and Foreign Policy Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh pointed to the “unacceptable” decision to invite King Abdullah to Tehran and said, “We are witnessing popular uprisings against puppet governments in the region. Jordan is among those countries that faces popular protests.”

Neither of the Iranian lawmakers explained why they did not express their opposition to the presidential invitation when it was originally extended to the Jordanian king last December.

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