I participated in a debate on Aljazeera English over the legality and political implications of oil exploration contracts that the Kurdistan Regional Government-Iraq has signed with foreign investors. Below is the link to the videos on YouTube.
The march towards federalism
Baghdad says the Kurdish regional government's (KRG) deals with foreign oil companies are illegal. But a defiant KRG says it will not accept any attempts by Iraq's central government to control its oil.
The stand-off between the KRG and Iraq's central government is the latest between the two as each attempts to exert control over the Kurdish region's valuable oil resources. Both are trying to attract foreign companies to Kurdistan's oil-rich autonomous region, but the central government brands the KRG's deals as null and illegal.
The two have often clashed over the content of Iraq's national oil law, which defines how contracts are awarded and how revenues are distributed among Iraq's regions. The Iraqi parliament has yet to pass the law, but the KRG went ahead and in August passed its own oil law giving it broad powers over the Kurdish north's oil resources.
So, what does the current stand-off mean for Iraq? Who is in control of its oil? And what is next?
Inside Story investigates.
Watch part one of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube
Watch part two of this episode of Inside Story on YouTube
Watch Inside Story at 17:30 GMT.
This episode of Inside Story airs on Tuesday, November 27, 2007.