al-Maliki, leader of State of Law Coalition, exerted huge efforts to stop
the economic deals between Iraq and Jordan, claiming that
these agreements will result in economic losses to Baghdad.
Iraq recently signed number of economic deals with Jordan in the fields of trade exchange and customs removal. Both sides agreed to establish a free trade zone near the mutual borders between, and to activate an agreement to extend a pipeline to transport oil from south of Iraq to the Jordanian port of Aqaba in the Red Sea.
"The benefits and facilities offered by the Iraqi government to the Kingdom of Jordan should be based on mutual benefits, not unilateral ones," said Qais al-Khazali, leader of pro-Iran Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq militia, claiming that the new deals will harm the Iraqi economy.
Maliki's coalition MP Hamid al-Moussawi said that extending the pipeline from Iraq towards Aqaba is useless and has no economic or political feasibility, adding that it will cause Iraq economic losses ranging between $5-9 per barrel.
Moussawi called on all political forces, the government official and the parliament "not to succumb to any external pressures that threaten the Iraqi sovereignty, stability and economy."
Prime Minster Adil Abd al-Mahdi said that Jordan will reduce the customs for Iraqi cargos passing Aqaba port, while Iraq will reduce the price of oil in return.
He added that the Jordanian industrial city will greatly serve both countries.
The Iraqi Ministry of Oil responded to the negative comments, describing them as "malicious statements issued by political parties aim at distorting the facts by [issuing] lies, allegations and fabrications against officials and workers in the oil sector."
"Some of the statements are provocative and lack precision and objectivity," the ministry stated.
Muqtada al-Sadr’s Saairun Bloc warned on Tuesday of moving forward with an economic project which would extend an oil pipeline from Iraq to Jordan without reviewing it by the parliament, the Middle East Monitor said.
MP of Saairun Sadiq al-Sulaiti called to review the Basra-Aqaba pipeline agreement by the concerned parliamentary committees, saying that “Jordan wants to harvest the fruits of this agreement without paying anything.”
Sulaiti added that the Basra-Aqaba pipeline project is estimated to cost $18 billion; most of it will be paid by the Iraqi side.
He added that the agreement indicates that “the pipeline passing through the Jordanian territories will be a property of Jordan, however, Iraq has to pay for it.”
“The cost of transporting a barrel is expected to be $4, which is four times higher than the cost of extracting one barrel,” Sulaiti said.
The Iraqi lawmaker warned the oil ministry not to proceed with agreements that may waste the public money, and demanded to submit the project to the parliament to study its feasibility.