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Iraq draft oil law stalls after Sunnis, Kurds, Sadr Shiites balk

[JURIST] A contentious draft Iraqi oil law [JURIST news archive] approved Tuesday by Iraq's cabinet stalled on its way to parliament [JURIST report] Wednesday after Sunni and Kurd politicians and Shiite lawmakers associated with radical cleric Muqtada al-Sadr objected to its terms and the process of pushing it forward for legislative approval. Critics pointed out that the draft had been approved by only 24 of 37 cabinet members, with Sunnis and Sadrists boycotting. Kurdish leaders meanwhile insisted they had not seen the latest draft but would oppose it if it made changes to a previously negotiated agreement on oil regulation and revenue sharing. AP has more.

Negotiations over the legislation have been a source of tension [JURIST report] in Iraq for months as Kurds are adamant about retaining control of Iraq's oil resources [Global Policy backgrounder] in the northern regions. Other government leaders have pushed for giving the central Iraqi government control over oil revenues and approval rights for any contracts with other countries or international companies to pump oil, since oil revenues are the main source of income for Iraq.

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