Skip to main content
Home Asia Europe U.S. Business Tech Science Entertainment Sport Travel Weather Specials Video I-Reports
WORLD header
Iraq Transition

Iraqis agree oil deal to spread the wealth

Story Highlights

• NEW: Iraqi factions agree on formula for sharing country's oil wealth
• NEW: Leader of Iranian Quds Force still in U.S. custody in Iraq
• NEW: U.S. finds large weapons cache, says it originated in Iran
Explosion during Iraqi VP's speech kills 12, injures 42, including VP
Adjust font size:
Decrease fontDecrease font
Enlarge fontEnlarge font

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Iraq's government has agreed on a plan to divide the country's oil wealth and open the industry to international investment, a move seen as necessary to a political settlement of the nearly four-year-old war, ministers announced Monday.

"This law will guarantee for Iraqis -- not just now, but for future generations, too -- complete national control over this natural wealth," Oil Minister Hussain al-Shahristani told reporters at a Baghdad news conference.

The draft law still faces a vote in Iraq's parliament, but the U.S. ambassador in Baghdad hailed Monday's agreement as a step toward a national settlement of the country's divisions.

Iraq's Constitution, adopted in 2005, declares that oil and gas reserves are "owned by all the people of Iraq."

But nearly all of that oil is concentrated in the Kurdish north and Shiite south, raising fears in the Sunni Arab provinces of northwestern and central Iraq -- the heart of the insurgency that has raged since 2003 -- that Sunni Iraqis would be shut out of the country's wealth.

"This law affirms ... all the revenues will be shared at the federal level and redistributed equitably among all Iraqis," Deputy Prime Minister Barham Salih told CNN.

Deciding how to distribute the proceeds of the country's oil industry was a key political benchmark laid out by U.S. officials trying to broker a settlement of the country's political differences.

"This is the first time since 2003 that all major Iraqi communities have come together on a defining piece of legislation," said Zalmay Khalilzad, the outgoing U.S. ambassador in Baghdad. "This law is a major pillar of a national compact among Iraqis."

Ministry bomb kills 12

Insurgents bombed Iraq's Ministry of Municipalities building as top Iraqi officials gathered there Monday morning for a celebration, Iraqi officials said.

The attack killed at least 12 people and wounded 42 others, including Iraqi Vice President Adel Abdul Mahdi, the officials said.

Mahdi, a member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq -- a powerful Shiite political group -- suffered minor injuries to his hand and leg in the blast, SCIRI spokesman Haithem al-Husseini told CNN.

Two Municipalities Ministry officials were also among those wounded in the late-morning attack on the ministry building, located in the western Baghdad district of Mansour, an Iraqi Health Ministry official said.

An investigation was under way to determine where the explosive device was planted, how it got past security, and who was behind the attack.

In Ramadi on Monday, a suicide car bomber detonated his explosives outside a police station, killing 13 people, including three police officers, two women and a child, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

Iran paramilitary group leader held by U.S.

U.S. troops in Iraq are still detaining a top leader of an Iranian special forces group who was arrested in December, U.S. officials said Monday.

Brig. Gen. Mohsen Chirazi was said to be the third-ranking officer in the Iranian Quds Force, a paramilitary arm of Iran's Revolutionary Guards believed to be helping insurgents in Iraq.

President Bush, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and other senior U.S. military leaders have accused the Quds Force of supplying weapons and helping to direct attacks on Iraqi and U.S. forces inside Iraq.

Chirazi was one of the first people arrested in a series of U.S. raids and arrests directed at Iranians in Iraq. He is one of five Iranians being held by U.S. troops.

U.S. officials would not say where the general is being held.

Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffak Al-Rubaie told CNN on Sunday that Iran has stopped interfering in Iraq's affairs and has advised its allies inside Iraq to support the government and the Baghdad security plan. (Full story)

U.S. says Iranian weapons found in Iraq

The U.S. military Monday announced it recently recovered more Iranian-made weapons and components in Iraq, intended for attacks against U.S. and Iraqi soldiers as well as civilians.

U.S. soldiers involved in recovering the weapons cache Saturday in Iraq's Diyala province showcased their findings at a news conference Monday in Baghdad.

They praised Iraqi police and citizens for leading them to the cache in the Shiite village of Jadida outside Baquba.

The cache included deadly armor-piercing explosives known as EFPs, or explosively formed penetrators or projectiles, and the elements to build more of the weapons.

There is no doubt many of the weapons and components were manufactured in Iran, said Maj. Marty Weber, who was part of the explosive ordnance disposal team that carried out the raid.

"The physical construction of the mortar or the rocket itself, and then also the labels, and the stenciling on the items themselves -- all [those] parts and pieces taken into total allow us to identify country of origin, in this case, specifically, Iran," Weber said.

Other developments

  • Iraqi President Jalal Talabani fell ill and was flown from northern Iraq to neighboring Jordan on Sunday for treatment of what his son called "fatigue and exhaustion coupled with dehydration." (Full story)
  • A U.S. Marine was killed Monday in fighting in Iraq's Anbar province, west of Baghdad, the U.S. military said. The Marine was assigned to Multi National Force-West. With the death, 3,155 U.S. military personnel have died in the Iraq war, including seven civilian contractors of the Defense Department.
  • Sunday, a combination of rocket and bomb attacks -- the worst taking place at the entrance to a Baghdad university -- killed more than 50 people and wounded dozens of others in Iraq. The suicide bomber was a woman, an official with the Iraqi Interior Ministry told CNN, based on eyewitness accounts. At least 40 people were killed and 55 wounded in the blast.
  • Elsewhere in Baghdad Sunday, two rockets landed in an outdoor market in the Abu Dishir Shiite neighborhood, killing at least 10 people, and a car bomb exploded in central Baghdad just 100 yards from the Iranian embassy, killing at least one person, officials said.
  • CNN's Mohammed Tawfeeq contributed to this report.

    Copyright 2007 CNN. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Associated Press contributed to this report.

    An Iraqi policeman carries a wounded comrade after a bomb explosion at the Ministry of Municipalities on Monday.


    • Interactive: Who's who in Iraq
    • Interactive: Sectarian divide
    CNN U.S.
    CNN TV How To Get CNN Partner Hotels Contact Us Ad Info About Us Preferences
    © 2007 Cable News Network.
    A Time Warner Company. All Rights Reserved.
    Terms under which this service is provided to you.
    Read our privacy guidelines. Contact us. Site Map.
    SERVICES » E-mail RSSRSS Feed PodcastsRadio News Icon CNN Mobile CNN Pipeline
    Offsite Icon External sites open in new window; not endorsed by
    Pipeline Icon Pay service with live and archived video. Learn more