Stop the Iraq Oil Law
Iraqi Parliament and US Congress
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Stop the Iraq Oil Law!
July 9th, 2007
Iraqi authorities have indulged in the recent months in active promotion and propaganda for the "Iraq Oil Law". They forwarded the proposed law to the parliament for approval. This law grants US and foreign oil companies terms which legalize their confiscation of the greater part of Iraq's oil production for as long as 30 years.
In spite of all tragic situations and internal crises, the current Iraqi authorities persist to support and defend this law which mainly serves US corporate interests and delivers long-awaited results to the occupying forces of Iraq. This position corresponds to and comes in response to the official policies of the US government which passed legislation on May 26, 2007 requiring that the Iraq government pass a new national oil law as a condition to the continued receipt of U.S. reconstruction dollars.
The occupation of Iraq has devastated the lives of millions of Iraqis and drowned them in endless bloodshed. All of this resulted from reactionary and divisive political changes which were established by the U.S. occupation. Throughout chapters of daily massacres, sectarian killings, torture and rape inside Iraqs prisons, the U.S. government was busy drafting the oil law and pushing Iraqi authorities to pass it without informing the masses of the grave contents and consequences of the law.
The law allows for contracts best known as production-sharing agreements that are only used in approximately 12 percent of the worlds oil and by countries in the weakest possible negotiating positions. It offers the legal cover-up for hijacking the economic rights of people of Iraq and holds their political will hostage during the current war-torn situation.
The Iraqi and American people are told that the oil law is a guarantee of an equal per capita distribution of Iraqs oil revenue. However, they are not told that the Iraqi people will only get what small percentage of revenue is left after the foreign oil companies take their share. Moreover, the equal distribution of resources does not need such a law or the presence of foreign oil companies.
The working class men and women of Iraq are the generators and producers of the oil industry. Decades of oil production and development were the result of their life-time toil and struggles; nevertheless they were mostly deprived from the revenues which used to finance wars and dictatorship previously, but now will only multiply the profits of US corporate world and interests of the ethno-sectarian militia and corrupt authorities in Iraq.
The time has come for the people of Iraq to be decision makers on their revenues and the fruits of their life-time work. They should not allow the passing of such a critical law which forces American interests against the will of the society. The law is a mere deception and legal cover for the robbery of Iraq's most lucrative resource: oil.
We, the undersigned, call out to human rights defenders, workers' unions and women's groups, the global peace movement, civil society, and all concerned people of the world to join our campaign to prevent and stop the Iraq Oil Law.
We believe that only when Iraq is free from occupation and when there is true and direct representation of women, workers, and all in Iraq in the decision making process, should changes to the laws that will control their resources for generations to come be considered.
Yanar Mohammed (Organization of Womens Freedom in Iraq-president)
Falah Alwan (Federation of Workers' Councils and Unions in Iraq-president)
Muayad Ahmad (Leftist political activist Iraq)
Houzan Mahmoud (Organization of Womens Freedom in Iraq-Abroad representative)
Ara Khachador (Founder of Oil Unions in Iraq, veteran political activist)
Suad Khairy (Prominent political Iraqi figure)
Kamil Al Delfi (Director of Now Center for Democratic Culture)
Raheem abou-Jarri' Al Saedi Secretary General of Gathering for Democracy
Dr. Zuhair Lazem Al Sarraj Iraqi environmentalist
Saad Muhamad Hasan (Communists Union in Iraq)
Dr. Abdul Hadi Mushtaq (President of the National Assembly for Human Rights)
Basil Mahdi (Editor in-chief of Ila Amam newspaper)
Ahmad Abdul-Sattar (Federation of Workers' Councils and Unions in Iraq-Nasiriyah branch)
Nawal Al Saadawi (Egyptian Feminist and author, Founder of Arab Women Solidarity Association)
Denis Halliday (former UN Assistant Secretary General)
John McDonnell (MP, UK Parliament)
Media Benjamin (US leftist-Founding member of Global Exchange)
Vivian Stromberg (Madre Organization-executive director)
Yifat Susskind (Madre Organization-executive director, progressive political researcher)
Eve Ensler (Prominent American feminist, V-day executive director)
Kavita Ramdas (political/woman activist)
Dr. Zeina Zaatari (political/woman activist)
Dr. Nadje Al-Ali (senior Lecturer in social anthropology at Exeter University, author and woman activist)
The Nobel Women Laureates have sponsored the same demand after hearing and participating in a panel by Antonia Juhasz from US and Yanar Mohammed from Iraq. They signed a letter of support which is posted over the following web page of the Nobel Women Initiative: http://www.nobelwomensinitiative.org/news.php?WEBYEP_DI=113
Betty Williams- Ireland - Recipient 1976, Mairead Corrigan Maguire Ireland 1976, Prof. Jody Williams- USA - Recipient 1997, Dr. Shirin Ebadi- Iran - Recipient 2003, Prof. Wangari Maathai- Kenya - Recipient 2004.