News Release

Pending Iraq Oil Law


The issue of the pending Iraqi oil law was raised this morning at a news conference with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at the National Press Club. In a question, Sam Husseini of the Institute for Public Accuracy quoted from a January 16 article in Britain’s Guardian newspaper written by an Iraqi academic and senior lecturer in Middle East economics at the University of Exeter, Kamil Mahdi.

Mahdi stated: “Today Iraq remains under occupation, and the gulf between those who profess to rule and those who are ruled is filled with blood. The government is beholden to the occupation forces that are responsible for a humanitarian catastrophe and a political impasse. … The U.S., the IMF and their allies are using fear to pursue their agenda of privatizing and selling off Iraq’s oil resources.” See Common Dreams.

The following analysts are available for interviews:

Author of the piece published in the Guardian, headlined “Iraqis Will Never Accept This Sellout to the Oil Corporations,” Mahdi is an Iraqi academic and senior lecturer in Middle East economics at the University of Exeter.

A visiting scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, Juhasz just wrote the piece “It’s Still About The Oil,” which states: “For more than four years, the Bush administration and its oil company cohorts have worked toward the passage of a new oil law for Iraq that would turn its nationalized oil system over to private foreign corporate control. On Thursday, January 18, this dream came one step closer to reality when an Iraqi negotiating committee of ‘national and regional leaders’ approved a new hydrocarbon law. The committee chair, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih, told Reuters that the draft will go to the Iraqi cabinet next week and, if approved, to the parliament immediately thereafter.” See Tom Paine.

Juhasz notes that “on January 23, the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations will hold a hearing to investigate ‘oil and reconstruction strategy in Iraq.’ This offers a critical opportunity to demand a cessation of all U.S. government and corporate influence over Iraqis as to the future of their oil.” She is author of the book The Bush Agenda: Invading the World, One Economy at a Time.
More Information

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167