The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

Jordan FM holds meeting with Iran FM at UN, urges end to Syrian drug trafficking

Jordan's FM stressed the need to end drug trafficking across its border, in which Iran is suspected to play a large role.

Jordanian FM Ayman al-Safadi held a meeting with his Iranian counterpart, Hossein Amir Abdollahian, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly on Saturday, 23 September, where they discussed resolving the Syrian crisis.

The two ministers discussed the Syrian crisis and its resolution in line with the “step-for-step” process where the Syrian regime is reintroduced to the international community in exchange for reforms.

Al-Safadi also “stressed the need to stop the threats the crisis poses to the security of Jordan and the region, especially the threat of drug trafficking,” Jordanian media reported.

Jordan’s northern border with Syria has been inundated with drug smugglers carrying captagon, meth and hashish since 2021, provoking anger from Amman.

Jordan is the main route for drugs to reach the Arab Gulf, the main consumption market in the region.

Iranian-linked militias and Hezbollah are largely suspected to be behind much of the production and trafficking of narcotics into Jordan.

In July 2022, Jordan’s King Abdullah II blamed “militias linked to Iran” for cross-border drug smuggling and called for a “change of behaviour by Iran.”

The trade is a significant source of revenue for Iran, Hezbollah and the Syrian regime, with estimates valuing it at over $5 billion annually.

It is also a major stumbling block for countries like Jordan and Saudi Arabia in normalising relations with the Syrian regime, as, despite promises to the contrary, the flow of drugs has not slowed in recent months.

Jordan’s FM said that Jordan was “keen to end all tension in the region” and develop good relations with Iran.

He further specified that the only way to create good relations with Iran is to “address all causes of tension” and said a “security dialogue” had been started between the two countries.

Iranian media’s readout of the meeting did not mention Syria but said that the Iranian FM expressed a desire to “open a new page in relations” between the two countries.

Source: The New Arab 

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of the Observatory.