While everyone is preoccupied with the brutal war being waged by Israel against the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, Jordan faces an escalating onslaught.
The Kingdom currently finds itself trapped between the territorial aspirations of Iran on one side and Israel on the other, two states with different interests and aims.
Jordan’s King Abdullah II appeared to have made overtures towards Syria, driven by the belief that restoring relations with President Bashar al-Assad could potentially mitigate Iranian aggression against Jordan’s security and stability, but this does not seem to have worked.
Many suspect that Iranian-affiliated militias, collaborating with the al-Assad regime, are behind the illicit transportation of drugs from Syria into Jordan, which has increased, along with the smuggling of weaponry, ammunition, and explosives.
Jordanian forces along the border with Syria, who intercepted shipments in September, find themselves in a heightened state of alert, as if in a state war with an unidentified adversary.
A threat unanswered
This strategic threat has not garnered the attention it deserves. Indeed, the threat extends far beyond Jordan, encompassing other nations in the region that have succumbed — and continue to succumb — to covert or overt Iranian influence.
For years, the Iranian threat to the region was a known concern that, regrettably, did not meet with the necessary response. Instead, it was allowed to proliferate.
No one has tried to set up a unified (or even minimally coordinated) strategy to counter Tehran’s encroachment on Arab nations, some of whom have started to fall under Iranian influence.
Iranian officials now openly proclaim their ascendancy in successive Arab capitals in a project that did not begin with the fall of Baghdad or the Israeli invasion of Beirut, which led to the formation of Hezbollah.