Raed Jarrar: Oil Law Will Increase Violence in Iraq

From Raed in the Middle:

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An English version of a new Iraqi oil law leaked in mid 2006. This leaked English version shocked a number of specialists, like Erik Leaver from the institute for Policy Studies, because it had some exact text from a previously leaked seminar papers produced by a private contracting company called “Bearing Point”. Taking in consideration that the law privatises Iraq’s oil and opens the doors for U.S. companies to sign long term contracts controlling Iraq’s oil resources and infrastructure, this law is in violation of existing U.S. Public Law No: 109-234 that says: “To provide that no funds made available by title I of this Act may be made available to establish permanent United States military bases in Iraq or to exercise control by the United States over the oil infrastructure or oil resources of Iraq.” U.S. contractors, such as Bearing Point, have been working with the U.S. State Department to draft the Iraqi Oil law and the State Department has been pushing for the privatization of Iraq’s oil in plans dating as far back as 2002.

In February 2007, a leaked Arabic copy of the Iraqi oil law was published on Al-ghad.org, an Iraqi website. I translated this leaked copy to English. My translation was based on the previously leaked English version of the law. From what I can tell, the Arabic language was not native, it looked weak and translated. I have no doubt that the English version of the law is the original one, and that the Arabic one is nothing more than an edited translation of the English origin. The few changes in the content, between the Arabic and English versions show clearly that the Iraqi lawmakers who worked on the law did not change any of the parts that relates to foreign investments. The majority of the changes from the original English version were linked to decentralizing authorities and reducing central powers.

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