Iraq: Nobel laureates oppose oil law

From the Nobel Women’s Initiative, June 19:

While the Bush administration has repeatedly claimed that the war in Iraq is not about oil, U.S. oil corporations are poised to take control over the 115 billion barrels of known oil reserves – 10 percent of the world total. The Bush administration’s proposed new oil law for Iraq, set to go before Iraq’s Parliament this month, would transform Iraq’s oil industry from a nationalized model to a commercial model that is much more open to U.S. corporate control. Its provisions allow much (if not most) of Iraq’s oil revenues to flow out of Iraq and into the pockets of international oil companies. At NWI’s First International Conference Antonia Juhasz from the US and Yanar Mohammed from Iraq educated participants on the perils of this proposed law and the Nobel Peace Prize laureates signed the following statement. For more information and action see below.

In Opposition to the Iraq Oil Law

(19 June 2007) In support of the people of Iraq, we the undersigned Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, state our opposition to the Iraq Oil Law. We also oppose the decision of the United States government to require that the Iraq government pass the Oil Law as a condition of continued reconstruction aid in legislation passed on May 24, 2007.

A law with the potential to so radically transform the basic economic security of the people of Iraq should not be forced on Iraq while it is under occupation and in such a weak negotiating position vis-à-vis both the U.S. government and foreign oil corporations.

The Iraq Oil Law could benefit foreign oil companies at the expense of the Iraqi people, deny the Iraqi people economic security, create greater instability, and move the country further away from peace.

The U.S. government should leave the matter of how Iraq will address the future of its oil system to the Iraqi people to be dealt with at a time when they are free from occupation and more able to engage in truly democratic decision-making.

It is immoral and illegal to use war and invasion as mechanisms for robbing a people of their vital natural resources.

Signed by:
Betty Williams
Mairead Corrigan Maguire
Prof. Jody Williams
Dr. Shirin Ebadi
Prof. Wangari Maathai

See our last posts on Iraq, the struggle for Iraq’s oil, and the global contest for control of oil.