The new cabinet, revealed on Monday, is divided up among the country’s various ethnicities and religions, with 13 ministries going to Shia, five to Sunnis, five to Kurds, one to Turkmen and one to Christians.

The key oil ministry goes to Shia Ibrahim Muhammad Bahr al-Ulum, said a council source. The interior ministry will also be held by another Shia, Nuri Badran.

The foreign affairs portfolio will be held by a Kurd, Hoshyiar al-Zibari, while finance goes to Sunni Kamal al-Kailani, said council member Nasir al-Shadershi.

Nisrin Mustafa Burwari will be the only woman to hold a ministerial post, but it is unclear in which one.

The new interim government will not have defence and information ministers, said the Council’s head last week.

It also does not intend to appoint a prime minister.

Instead, the Council’s rotating chairman will assume the post in the new line-up.

US occupying authorities in Baghdad appointed the Council in July and has since been working to establish ministries.

Elections are expected to be held in the next two years.

When US tanks invaded Baghdad on 9 April, American troops almost immediately protected the oil ministry. All other ministries were burned, looted or bombed.