Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. 24/7 Space News .




ENERGY TECH
Iraq oil cut fuels Jordan political unrest
by Staff Writers
Amman, Jordan (UPI) Jan 16, 2013


A Jordanian woman walks in a snow-covered street in Amman on January 10, 2013. The worst storms in a decade left swathes of Israel and Jordan under a blanket of snow and parts of Lebanon blacked out, bringing misery to a region accustomed to temperate climates. Photo courtesy AFP.

Political unrest in Jordan, a key U.S. ally and Israeli peace partner, has been heightened by Iraq's closure of its border with the Hashemite Kingdom.

That threatens resource-poor Jordan's energy supplies, undermining the embattled monarchy ahead of crucial parliamentary elections Jan. 23 being held as the bloodbath in neighboring Syria threatens to spill over into the desert kingdom.

The Jan. 9 closure by the Baghdad government, citing "security concerns" amid wide scale protests against the increasingly dictatorial rule by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, cut off Jordan's imports of an estimated 10,000 barrels of oil a day from Iraq.

Maliki supports the besieged Syrian regime of President Bashar Assad. Jordan's monarchy has long feuded with the Damascus regime and would shed no tears to see it disappear.

Iraqi oil accounts for around 10 percent of the overall fuel consumption by Jordan, which for decades has relied on discounted supplies from energy-rich Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the other monarchies of the Persian Gulf.

On Monday, Jordan's minister of energy and mineral resources, Alaa al-Batayneh, appealed to Baghdad to exempt 300 tanker trucks carrying Iraqi crude to the kingdom. Nothing happened.

Jordan has grappled with economic problems for decades, more or less since the kingdom was established by Britain after World War I.

These have been exacerbated by hefty subsidies on fuel that have become a barometer of political unrest.

"These energy challenges and their subsequent social consequences have exacerbated an already unstable domestic situation in Jordan," the U.S. global security consultancy Stratfor observed.

The widening unrest has been heightened by sharp differences between the Bedouin tribes who are the monarchy's traditional supporters, and account for 40 percent of the population, and the largely dispossessed Palestinians who comprise around 60 percent.

The Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, has declared it will boycott the elections, which are thus likely to produce an overwhelmingly pro-monarchy parliament that's certain to inflame the political unrest.

But King Abdullah II has other troubles too. Apart from fears of a jihadist spillover from the Syrian bloodletting, Israel's parliamentary elections Jan. 22 are expected to produce a hard-line right wing coalition opposed to relinquishing the occupied West Bank to become a Palestinian state.

That will undoubtedly dash whatever hopes there may still be of a negotiated peace settlement between the Palestinians and Israel, with the threat of renewed violence there that will inevitably spill over into Jordan.

Abdullah, who succeed his late father, King Hussein, in 1999, has striven to wean his 6 million subjects off fuel subsidies, but to no avail.

In September 2012 he ordered his government to impose a 10 percent increase in gasoline prices -- the third such hike in a year -- in a desperate effort to reduce a chronic budget deficit, a long-running problem.

That sparked large-scale street protests, fanning the unrest that had intensified after the surge of pro-democracy revolutions began sweeping the Arab world in early 2011.

Two days later, after parliament issued a strongly worded resolution demanding the price increase be revoked, Abdullah had to back down.

He has tried repeatedly to slash other subsidies on electricity, water and food because the kingdom can no longer afford them.

But he's constantly constrained by surge in political protests that have gathered momentum over the last two years amid the fall of four Arab rulers in the poorly named Arab Spring, a warning he ignores at his peril.

Because Jordan has to import nearly all of its oil, gas and other sources of energy, commodity prices have been climbing steadily.

The shutdown of a pipeline carrying natural gas from Egypt after the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak Feb. 11, 2011, has caused immense economic strain in Jordan.

In August 2012, Abdullah had little alternative but to accept a $2 billion loan facility from the International Monetary Fund in exchange for a pledge to rein in public spending and raise the cost of electricity.

All this discontent has intensified widespread demands for democratic reforms by a monarchy that has tightly controlled political life since the kingdom was established.

The most menacing aspect as far as Abdullah's concerned is that for the first time, the monarchy is being called into question by protesters.

He has repeatedly promised reforms, but they've never materialized, Now the king is fast running out of wiggle room.

.


Related Links
Powering The World in the 21st Century at Energy-Daily.com






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ENERGY TECH
Four Chinese abducted in Sudan's Darfur freed: UNAMID
Khartoum (AFP) Jan 16, 2013
Four Chinese workers abducted by Darfur rebels on January 12 have been freed, a spokeswoman for the joint UN-African Union peace keeping force in the troubled western Sudan region said Wednesday. "The four abducted Chinese workers were released and delivered to the headquarters of the UNAMID mission in the South Darfur region of Khour Abchi," spokeswoman Aicha Elbasri told AFP. The Chine ... read more


ENERGY TECH
US, Europe team up for moon fly-by

Mission would drag asteroid to the moon

Russia designs manned lunar spacecraft

GRAIL Lunar Impact Site Named for Astronaut Sally Ride

ENERGY TECH
Mars rover readies first rock drilling

Mars One announces requirements for Red Planet colonists

Opportunity Heading Toward Light-Toned Veins

Bacteria In Rio Tinto Could Be Like Those On Mars

ENERGY TECH
Orion Teamwork Pays Off

Unilever Buys 22 Flights On XCOR Lynx Suborbiter For AXE Campaign

Iran renews plan to send monkey into space: reports

AXE to Send 22 Guys to Space with New Apollo Campaign

ENERGY TECH
Mr Xi in Space

China plans manned space launch in 2013: state media

China to launch manned spacecraft

Tiangong 1 Parked And Waiting As Shenzhou 10 Mission Prep Continues

ENERGY TECH
Embassy Gathers Elite Group of Space Policy Chiefs

NASA, Bigelow Officials to Discuss ISS Expandable Module

Crew Wraps Up Robonaut Testing

Station Crew Ringing in New Year

ENERGY TECH
Roscosmos Releases Report On Proton Launch Anomaly

Russia plans replacement for Soyuz rocket

Arianespace's industry leadership will continue with 12 launcher family missions planned in 2013

Arianespace addresses The Insurance Institute of London

ENERGY TECH
Earth-size planets common in galaxy

NASA's Hubble Reveals Rogue Planetary Orbit For Fomalhaut B

NASA, ESA Telescopes Find Evidence for Asteroid Belt Around Vega

Kepler Gets a Little Help From Its Friends

ENERGY TECH
ECAPS signs contract with Skybox for complete propulsion system

Boeing Grows Composite Manufacturing Capability in Utah

Molecular machine could hold key to more efficient manufacturing

Study reveals ordinary glass's extraordinary properties




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement