“…Iraqis are feeling very bitter over what happened. We decided, as the Iraqi government, to recall the Iraqi ambassador from Amman to discuss this,” Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told The Associated Press.
Jordan acted first, when Foreign Minister Hani al-Mulqi announced his charge d’affaires in Baghdad had been recalled to Amman.
“We are hoping that the Iraqi police will devise a plan to protect the embassy,” al-Mulqi said. “Meanwhile, we have asked the charge d’affaires to come back because he was living in the embassy.”
He added that other Jordanian diplomats will remain in Baghdad because they do not live in the embassy compound.
Both countries said the officials were being recalled for “consultations,” leaving open the possibility for their return.
Shiites began holding protests after the Iraqi government on Monday condemned celebrations allegedly held by the family of a Jordanian man suspected of carrying out a Feb. 28 terrorist attack that killed 125 people in Hillah, 60 miles south of Baghdad. Nearly all the victims were Shiite police and army recruits.
The Jordanian daily Al-Ghad reported that Raed Mansour al-Banna carried out the attack, the single deadliest of the Iraqi insurgency. The newspaper later issued a correction, however, saying it was not known where al-Banna carried out an assault.
Although this is very vague and expected, it is on the other hand a logical move. There is no protection at this point for Jordanian diplomats.
What’s made this situation worse (or to begin with) is the newspaper’s article. This is the source of all evil so to speak. To an extent I now have a broader view of why freedom of the press was so limited in Jordan until recently. A wise man once said, give a man too much rope and he’ll hang himself. This article was our hanging. What’s embarrassing about it is that it didn’t take too long to have such a fiasco of “international headlines” caliber.
All signs of blame seem to be pointing in one direction. Truly an inflammatory article.