Hundreds of intellectuals urge Iraqi gov't to delay oil law

A list of 419 Iraqi "intellectuals and professionals" have signed a letter to Iraq's government, urging it not to move forward with the draft oil law.

Hundreds of intellectuals urge Iraqi gov't to delay oil law
A list of 419 Iraqi "intellectuals and professionals" have signed a letter to Iraq's government, urging it not to move forward with the draft oil law.

The letter follows two previous letters -- one sent in the spring by 61 Iraq oil experts and another sent by 108 Iraqi oil, legal and economic experts last month -- that call on Iraq's Parliament to delay the oil law until issues like security and other quality-of-life issues are dealt with first.

The new letter, given to UPI Thursday by former Iraq Oil Minister Issam Chalabi, has been signed by "intellectuals and professionals including academics, doctors, writers, engineers, lawyers, economists, diplomats, journalists, former ministers and senior officials," Chalabi said.

"Oil represents the principal revenues of Iraq, so on it and on the endeavors of its citizens relies the advancement, development and reconstructions of the country," the letter states.

The experts say the law will break up Iraq's nationalized oil sector, causing mismanagement and an influx of foreign investors, which has been opposed by the oil unions, most prominently, as well as political parties.

The Bush administration and the U.S. Congress have pressured Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to move forward with the oil legislation, claiming it will lead to reconciliation. Maliki's government is near a breaking point, however, and the Parliament is stuck on the law over issues such as the extent of federalism in the oil sector as well as foreign investment.

Iraq has 115 billion barrels of proven reserves, the third largest in the world.

"It is clear that the government is trying to implement one of the demands of the American occupation, and by that it tries to cover its ineptitude in implementing any of its political, economical and security duties," the letter said.

It also criticized the Kurdistan Regional Government as it moves forward in developing oil in its own semi-autonomous, relatively peaceful area.

UPI
Last Mod: 10 Ağustos 2007, 16:05
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