From WEEKLY MDS No.1043, July 18, 2008 issue

Anti Oil Law Chair Subhi Al-Badri to Join Aug. 2-3 Zenko Conference

No to Plundering Iraqi Oil

Welcome Subhi Committee Formed

"Iraqi oil belongs to the Iraqis." "Hands off Iraqi oil." - As part of the July 7 One-Day Action, a series of appeal actions took place at a number of oil companies. Later that day, a welcome committee was held in preparation for welcoming Subhi Al-Badri, the Anti Oil Law Front Chairperson, who is visiting Japan at the end of July.

The Iraqi Oil Ministry announced at the end of June that foreign capital would be introduced into the country's oil field development projects, followed by narrowing down of the bidders list to 41 companies including US and Europe-based oil majors. The list also includes four Japan-based companies namely INPEX Holdings, Japan Petroleum Exploration Co., Ltd., Nippon Oil Corporation, and Mitsubishi Corporation.

However, the deliberation in Iraq's parliament on the Oil Law to allow foreign companies to plunder Iraqi oil has stalled as ever. This situation is brought about as a result of the struggle of Iraqi oil workers and citizens against the Oil Law. Anti Oil Law Front Chairperson Subhi Al-Badri is at the head of it.

Oil Law in deadlock

At the welcome committee meeting, an initiator MORI Fumihiro, the representative of the Iraq Peace TV in Japan, said, "While foreign capitalists aim to flock around the honey pots of Iraqi oil, the Oil Law approved by the Cabinet in February last year has not passed the assembly yet after nearly one and a half years. Labor unions are blocking it. The visit of the key person in the struggle against the Oil Law will surely enhance the power in our struggle developed in solidarity of Iraqi and Japanese movements", with expectation for the success of the welcome rally.

Following that, an MDS reporter ASAI Kenji pointed out, "Japanese newspapers are reporting as if it were a done deal for oil majors to enter Iraq. However, it is not easy to participate in long-term development projects in the absence of the Oil Law that defines the framework of foreign capital participation. The struggle to kill the Oil Law is not finished. Instead, it has just started. Surely, we need to note that oil majors have concluded some contracts for rehabilitating existing oil fields, resulting in their return to Iraq 36 years after the 1972 nationalization of oil industry. It was just impossible for them to obtain the no-bid contracts if it were not for the threat under the military occupation." He emphasized the significance of the ZENKO conference with both Chairperson Subhi Al-Badri and a representative from IVAW (Iraq Veterans Against the War) in attendance, saying, "It has a tremendous significance that an Iraq veteran who has been a victim of the war for oil and an Iraqi worker blocking the plunder of Iraqi oil find each other when they meet us in Japan."

The welcome rally in Tokyo will be held at the Seiryo Kaikan hall on July 30, starting at 6:30, after appeal actions at the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and oil companies.

Weekly MDS