The Middle East Newsline reports Jordan’s King Abdullah has warned the Obama administration that Iran was expanding its presence throughout the Middle East.

Kiing Abdullah, in his first meetings with the Obama administration, told the White House and Congress that Iran has established strongholds in such places as Bahrain, Kuwait, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

The king was quoted as saying that Iran was using proxies, particularly Hamas and Hezbollah.

“I met with King Abdullah, who said that Hamas ministers [in Gaza] all directly follow the orders of Tehran,” U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk, a leading Republican on the House Foreign Appropriations Committee, said on April 23.

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The Jordanian warning came as the administration has sought to funnel $840 million in aid to the Gaza Strip as well as any Palestinian unity government that included Hamas ministers.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton acknowledged Jordan’s concern, but said the Hamas regime, which has considered a coalition with the ruling Fatah movement in the West Bank, was not completely loyal to Tehran.

“We do believe that there has been some efforts to try to, you know, get more authority and opportunity on the part of those in Gaza,” Ms. Clinton said.

In testimony to the United States House Foreign Appropriations Middle East Subcommittee, Ms. Clinton urged Congress to provide “flexibility” for U.S. aid to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip. The secretary stressed that Washington would not directly assist Hamas.

“We don’t want to bind our hands in the event that such an agreement [on a Fatah-Hamas coalition] is reached, and the government that they are part of agrees to our principles,” Ms. Clinton said.

But administration officials and members of Congress said Jordan has warned of any arrangement that would aid the Hamas regime or movement. Abdullah was said to have stressed Iran’s expansion in every meeting in Washington during his visit in late April.

“So it’s a worry that we would provide taxpayer subsidies to a government with Hamas ministers,” Kirk said. “That’s sort of like saying, ‘Well, we would provide taxpayer subsidies to a coalition government. If it only has a few Nazis in it, but it’s okay.’“

David Bedein can be reached at


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.