AMMAN, Jordan, April 6 (UPI) -- If Iran is "playing mischief" in the Middle East region, then its regime is being allowed to make mischief, Jordan's King Abdullah said.
"If there are those that are saying that Iran is playing mischief, then I say it is being allowed to play mischief," Abdullah told The Wall Street Journal in an interview published Tuesday. "The platform they use is the injustice of the Palestinians and Jerusalem."
If the platform -- the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- for Iran's behavior goes away, Iran's influence through Hezbollah and Hamas in Gaza "diminishes or becomes non-existent," said the king, who will be attending U.S. President Barack Obama's nuclear security summit next week.
Leaders of Iran have made provocative statements about Israel, including denying that the Holocaust occurred, and it is pursuing a nuclear program that Western leaders fear is for the development of nuclear weapons.
Abdullah said he was "really against any military action in Iran -- that is Pandora's box. But by dealing with the core issue, that's when you start taking cards away from the Iranian regime."
He expressed optimism about Iraq's future because "I believe in the Iraqi people and the vision of their nation to move forward," no matter how long it takes.
"I've described Iraq as a slow, steady pace towards the light," he said. "I think this is a new phase in their lives with this new election and we (Arab countries) should be there for them. I'm optimistic and I believe in the national spirit of the Iraqis."