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Safadi says Israel behind increasing regional tension, warns of Gaza war spillover risk

Foreign minister says Tehran envoy summoned over ‘offensive’ statements by Iranian media against Jordan

By JT - Apr 15,2024 - Last updated at Apr 15,2024

Ayman Safadi

AMMAN — Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister Ayman Safadi on Sunday said that the continuation of the war on Gaza would increase tension and prompt dangerous expansion of conflict to wider region.

Speaking to Al Mamlakah TV, Safadi added that the challenge now is to prevent further escalation, and the burden of that lies on Israel, as the spark of escalation was the Israeli attack on the Iranian consulate.

He pointed out that Tehran responded to the Israeli attack that targeted its consulate in Damascus by launching drones and missiles at Israel in an escalation "we had warned about since the beginning of the war on the Gaza Strip".

Safadi stressed that everyone wants to deescalate, but everyone knows that the only way to achieve that is to stop the Israeli war on Gaza and stop all Israel's actions pushing the region towards the abyss of regional war.

The minister noted that the Kingdom has repeatedly warned that increasing pressure on Israel and changing the international public opinion about its aggression against Gaza would make Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu seek a way out to divert attention from what is happening in Gaza. 

He said that Jordan warned that Netanyahu would try to start a confrontation with Iran to drag the US and perhaps the entire West into a regional war, shifting the focus towards Iran, rallying international support for Israel against Tehran, and making the world forget about Gaza.

Safadi said that Jordan's focus is to continue its efforts to clarify to the entire international community that the basis and the reason of tension is Israel's war against Gaza, in addition to all other actions that have killed opportunities for peace.

“Today the focus of the international community is on the Israeli-Iranian confrontation, and Gaza was not mentioned in the news on all international stations.”

The minister stressed that Jordan, under His Majesty King Abdullah’s leadership, and other Arab countries have exerted relentless efforts to expose the Israeli narrative about what is happening in Gaza and to rally international support demanding an end to the aggression and stopping all illegal practices and violations of international law Israel perpetrates in Gaza.

Safadi added: “We face a new challenge: how to refocus on Gaza, refocus on the root cause of the conflict, and refocus on ending the aggression so that Netanyahu, driven by an alienation ideology towards Palestinians and by his personal ambitions to prolong the war, can be held accountable for the ramifications of his policies and actions.”

Asked about Iranian media outlets that threatened Jordan, Safadi said: “Unfortunately, there were offensive statements by Iranian media, including from the official Iranian news agency.”

He said that the ministry summoned the Iranian chargé d’affaires in Amman and delivered a clear message that these offenses must stop and scepticism about the Kingdom’s stances must also stop.

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