Ali Baban, the Iraqi minister of planning, joins
Inside Iraq
While the debate rages in the US for American troops to be withdrawn from Iraq, an equally critical debate which might reshape the country's political and economic future is heating up in Baghdad.

A new Iraqi oil law which proposes to open the country's currently nationalised oil system to foreign corporate control has split the Iraqi parliament into warring factions.  

The law appears to favour the interests of foreign oil corporations over the economic security and development of Iraq. Some critics say it will harm Iraq's national sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

This new hydrocarbon law, which some observers say was drawn up by the Bush administration and its allies, will radically redraw the Iraqi oil industry and throw open the doors of the third-largest oil reserves in the world to private American and British companies.  

There are further fears that the law will split Iraq into three ethnic and religious regions – the Kurds, Sunnis and Shias, pushing Iraq into more bloodshed and endless civil war.

Inside Iraq this week looks at the grave implications of this new oil law and how it would shape the political and economic future of Iraq.

Watch this episode of Inside Iraq here:

Part One:

Part Two:

This episode of Inside Iraq aired from 20 July 2007

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