Fear of Powerful Politicians Causes ‘Corruption That Slows the Economy,’ Iraq’s Oil Minister Says

SectorOil & Gas

Iraqi Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail blames indecision and delays in the ministry on fear of powerful lawmakers whose interests are not served, the Associated Press reported.

“This is the culture: To stay away from any case, to stay away from inspectors, to say, ‘Let us not do it.’ I think this is the corruption that slows the economy,” he told the AP.

While oil minister, Ismail tried to fast-track projects. He said he is hopeful the coming months will bring signed contracts to develop key projects that could boost Iraq’s gas capacity by 3 billion cubic feet by 2025.

Ihsan Abdul-Jabbar Ismail, Iraq’s oil minister, speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Baghdad on June 11. Iraq’s oil sector is rebounding after a catastrophic year triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, with key investment projects on the horizon.

But the country’s oil minister warns an enduring bureaucratic culture of fear threatens to stand in the way.
Hadi Mizban/Associated Press

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