(AMMAN, Jordan) (AP) — Jordan is playing hardball with the Palestinian militant movement Hamas, arresting its members and accusing it of plotting attacks inside the country.

Behind the crackdown is the fear in the kingdom, a close U.S. ally with a peace treaty with Israel, that it is threatened by a rising tide of radical Islam it sees originating from Iran and encompassing its Arab neighbors.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II sounded the alarm in December 2004, when he accused Shiite Muslim, non-Arab Iran of seeking to create a ‘crescent’ of influence that includes Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

‘Jordan is a pariah in this circle of a new hard-line political alliance, which Iran has put together,’ said Jordanian political analyst Labib Kamhawi.

‘It’s a serious threat to Jordan because the alliance, which is religious in its framework, opposes U.S. influence in the region and moderate Arab nations allied with America.'”More…