Oil tanker 370.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Official Jordanian sources expressed reservations about remarks by Iran’s
ambassador in Amman that Tehran is prepared to provide the Hashemite Kingdom
with free oil and energy products for 30 years, according to a report by CNN
Arabic on Friday.
Tehran’s ambassador to Jordan, Dr. Mostafa Mosleh-
Zadeh, said late on Wednesday that Tehran is ready to supply Jordan with oil and
energy for the next 30 years, in return for goods the Islamic Republic needs,
and for allowing Shi’ite religious tourism to Jordan.
Tehran is seeking to increase “diplomatic and commercial relations” with Jordan,
in comments made on the Fi al-Samim program aired by Jordan’s Josat
However, Jordanian government spokesman Samih Maaytah said Friday
that though the government is looking for alternative ways to solve the energy
crisis, the kingdom is “eager [to maintain] relations with the Gulf countries
despite the delay in aid,” according to CNN Arabic.
The news program also
cited anonymous Jordanian officials who said the Iranian offer was based on
barter, especially regarding trade and Shi’ite religious tourism in the
Jordan is home to a number of sites important to Shi’ite
Muslims, including the tomb of Ja’far ibn Abi Talib, the elder brother of the
fourth Islamic Caliph, Ali ibn Abi Talib, who according to Shi’ite belief was
the first imam.
The sources also confirmed the rejection of the Iranian
offer, saying it was “a political deal... oil for religious tourism and certain
political attitudes towards the Syria crisis serve the Iranian position,” CNN
The Iranian ambassador’s comments came weeks after a
decision by the Jordanian government to cut fuel subsidies sparked mass and
sometimes violent popular protests, including calls to overthrow King Abdullah
Jordan’s economic situation has been exacerbated by the loss of
financial support from oil-rich Gulf states, particularly Saudi Arabia, Iran’s
Last year, Saudi Arabia gave Jordan a last-minute $1.4
billion cash handout, but withheld aid this year, officials have said.