Iraqi MP threatens to cut off subsidised oil to Jordan over US strikes

Iraqi MP threatens to cut off subsidised oil to Jordan over US strikes
The Iraqi MP called for cutting off subsided oil to Jordan after accusing it of participating in US airstrikes on the country, something Jordan has denied.
3 min read
05 February, 2024
Jordan said that it did not participate in the US strikes in Iraq, prior to the Iraqi MP's petition. [Getty]

An Iraqi MP, Mustafa Jabbar Sanad, has proposed cutting off subsidised oil exports to Jordan amid false rumours of the latter's participation in US airstrikes on Iraq on 2 February.

Sanad collected a list of signatures from other Iraqi parliamentarians calling for a vote on a resolution requiring the Ministry of Oil to stop selling oil to Jordan at subsidised prices. Jordan currently receives around 10,000 barrels per day (bpd) of Iraqi oil at subsidised prices under a May 2023 agreement.

"We must use our resources correctly to preserve the dignity of our country and protect the lives of our men, our pride and our national sovereignty," Sanad said.

The MP's call for cutting off exports came after the US struck more than 85 Iran-linked targets in Iraq and Syria, killing at least 39 people, including civilians.

The US said the strikes were in retaliation for a drone attack by Iran-backed Iraqi forces on a Jordan border post, which killed at least three US soldiers on 27 January.

Jordanian state media put out a statement on 3 February clarifying that the Jordanian Royal Airforce did not participate in the US strikes inside Iraq – despite social media chatter to the contrary.

Jordan hosts foreign military forces and aircraft in an airbase in the northeast of the country, which is used by the US to carry out aerial missions in both Iraq and Syria.

The US military presence in Jordan has come under scrutiny for the US's staunch support for Israel's military operation in Gaza, which has left more than 27,000 dead, mostly women and children.

Jordanian parliamentarians last week called for a review of the defence agreement, which allows US forces and military vehicles to enter the country freely, given US support for Israel.

US support for Israel and its subsequent entanglement with Iran-linked factions in Yemen, Syria and Iraq has created strain with its regional allies.

In response to US strikes in Iraq, the office of the Iraqi PM said that the "American act of aggression" was a violation of Iraqi sovereignty and "puts the security situation in Iraq and the region to the brink of the abyss."

It added that the presence of the US-led international coalition in Iraq "has become a reason for endangering security and stability in Iraq."

The week prior, the US and Iraq announced that it was beginning formal talks aimed at withdrawing US troops from the country – something the US said was planned before the beginning of Israel's war on Gaza.

Jordan has an energy deficit and relies on imports from neighbouring Israel and Iraq to secure its domestic electricity needs. Oil imports from Iraq comprise about seven per cent of Jordan's' crude oil needs.