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Could Kurdish Independence Spark An Oil War?

Could Kurdish Independence Spark An Oil War?

Kurdish Flag

As the date of the Kurdish independence referendum approaches, oil industry moguls should be concerned about an oil production war between Iran and headless Iraq.

The Kurds are expected to vote on their political status in late September. A vote in the affirmative would mean that Iraq would lose a chunk of its northern areas, which includes the crucial Kirkuk oilfield and its surrounding reserves.

The latest news from the election committee shows that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) is doing the most it can to increase international participation in the election. On Monday, authorities announced that they had removed a key requirement for diaspora voters participating in the elections. Kurds participating in the e-voting platform will no longer be required to present a ration card to be able to cast their vote through September 25th. Iraqis who have been living abroad for several years, even decades, no longer hold a valid version of the United Nations-conferred identification. The new provision just requires that voters prove their current Iraqi citizenship via relevant documentation.

In roughly one week, the election authority will count votes and announce the political and territorial future of Iraq. It has been a rocky 100 years for the country since the 1916 Sykes-Picot agreement divided Asia Minor on an imperialist paradigm, without regard for cultural variations within the territory.

Believe it or not, soon after Sykes-Picot, Iraq became a kingdom ruled under a Hashemite monarch related to the current king of Jordan. In 1958, the Iraqi army overthrew the monarchy in a development known as the July 14 Revolution, which brought the rebel leader Abd al-Karim Qasim to power and pulled Iraq closer to the Soviet Union.

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