Inside Iraq

Kurdistan: Unlikely success story?

It may be stable, prosperous and violence free, but the same tensions still simmer.

As US troops prepared to launch the invasion of Iraq, confident of being greeted as liberators and heroes, there was one thing that foreign policy analysts at least were uncertain about – what would happen in Kurdistan?

After years of being terrorised by Saddam Hussain and desperate to maintain a separate ethnic identity, the Kurds, some said, would take the opportunity to finally break free from Baghdad.

Seven years later, Kurdistan is looking like a somewhat unlikely success story – stable, prosperous and violence free.

But beneath the apparent calm, the same tensions still simmer – Kurdistan’s legal status remains undetermined, the ethnic Kurds are still demanding a homeland and critics say the regional government is illegally helping itself to the nation’s oil.

Joining Teymoor Nabili on this episode of Inside Iraq are: Kamil Mahdi, an Iraqi political and economic analyst; Mohammad Ihsan, the Kurdistan Regional Government representative in Baghdad; and Abdul Hadi al-Hassani, a member of the Iraqi parliament.

This episode of Inside Iraq aired from Friday, August 13, 2010.