Sign In / Up

Add contribution as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment

Comment as a guest

Your email will not be displayed publicly
Benefit of signing in/signing up to personalize comment


Not a member Register   Forgot Password
or connect using





Let’s Give Oil a Fair Chance

By Yerevan Saeed 11/12/2013

Oil, a major contributor to violence in Iraq in the past, is about to find its own natural course through decentralization of its management, exploration and extraction.

Unfortunately, the old ruling mentality still exists in Baghdad, unable to accept the new Iraq under a new constitution. Such thinking tries to play by the old rules and pushes the country to its disastrous past by insisting on centralized power over natural resources.

What is more unfortunate here is the position of the US Department of State about how oil should be managed in Iraq. The State Department continues to make statements in support of Baghdad’s authority over the country’s oil and gas without any concrete legal grounds. This harks back to the way Britain supported the Iraqi government against Kurdish aspirations during its reign in Iraq.

Of course, the US has been a big contributor to the realization of Kurdish aspirations. It has assisted the Kurds in getting the status they have today.  Washington may fear that disturbing the status quo in Iraq may lead to a bigger conflict -- a view that in fact might be wrong.

The current situation in the country seems to be untenable, given the security, sectarian, social and political issues that have riddled Iraq. Let us make sure that the oil issue does not get mixed up with this, such that natural resources are blamed for unwanted consequences.

In what is happening now, one can see some parallels between the US policy on Erbil-Baghdad issues and British policies in Iraq during the first half of the 20th century.

When Britain formed Iraq, oil was a major factor in condemning the Kurds to be unwillingly attached to the current state of Iraq. Then Britain sided with Baghdad and continued its unconditional support for the government it formed, without considering the demands of the Kurds.

Had Britain implemented a balanced approach towards the demands of the Kurds and its puppet government in Baghdad, Iraq might not have gone through this continuous vicious cycle of violence for decades.

There are lessons here for the United States. If this 80-year-old failed policy does not change, the consequences could be unbearable for everyone in the years to come.

So, let us not blame oil for much of the curse, but rather wrong policies. Should oil be given its neutral role and the right policies are prescribed, it would only result in peace and prosperity between Erbil and Baghdad.

* Yerevan Saeed, graduate of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in Boston.



MIB | 16/12/2013
Oil, I hate oil! If it weren't for oil Kurdistan would have been independent 100 years ago! Oil breeds lazy bastards. Just look at Saudi Arabia. Oil kills progress. Oil kills environment. I am afraid oil has already started to affect the mentality of my fellow Kurds. They already feel entitled to everything without working. Just like the Arabs...
Tags :

Be Part of Your Rudaw!

Share your stories, photos and videos with Rudaw, and quite possibly the world.

What You Say

b dogan | 4/20/2015 11:42:18 PM
AKP made big mistake and no return from it. HDP going to enter with over 80 MPs.
Hsar Hgay Po | 4/21/2015 1:15:23 AM
Turks must accept that present Turkey was created with the blood of the Armenians , Greeks and Kurds. Kurds did take advantage of the Armenian...
Pages containing Kurdish reference just ‘slipped out,’ Turkish PM explains
| yesterday at 05:18 | (8)
Remo K | 4/20/2015 9:25:58 PM
We must be really stupid for handing out the oil revenue to Baghdad and then beg for our share of the budget!! As if fighting IS is not enough then...
guest | 4/20/2015 11:09:54 PM
As retaliation, Peshmerga must stop defending shiite villages. Let isis slaughter them.
EXCLUSIVE: Peshmerga in fight against Baghdad bureaucracy
| 20 hours ago | (7)
M Gonzales | 4/20/2015 6:33:05 PM
Just because you stockpile weapons, ammo or whatever valuable military targets close to your embassy does not mean they won't get hit. Iran your...
guest | 4/20/2015 11:04:01 PM
Too bad the Iranian embassy wasn't destroyed. Iranian backed shiite terrorists blew up the American embassy in Kuwait (1983), shite terrorists bombed...
Iran says Saudi airstrike hit near its embassy in Yemen
| 23 hours ago | (3)
Agid | 4/20/2015 8:18:33 PM
Isis have makes it's to a shame to be a Muslim, they have rape Islam. I asking myself do I really have same religion as ISIS.
Biji Kurd | 4/20/2015 10:45:12 PM
Dear Agid, you don't need islam. There are kurdish religion you can choose ;) Biji Kurdistan
Eight Kurdish Yezidi freed from ISIS after eight months
| 22 hours ago | (5)

Elsewhere on Rudaw

Has ISIS Made Iran Stronger? 18/3/2015 | (14)

Has ISIS Made Iran Stronger?

Soleimani’s work is currently focused on Iraq more
State Department: US Has no Ban on Oil Sales from Any Part of Iraq 1/8/2014 | (43)

State Department: US Has no Ban on Oil Sales from Any Part of Iraq

“Iraq’s energy resources belong to all of the more
0.25 seconds