Complete with coffee shops, perfumeries and pizza parlours, the gleaming atrium of Basra's Times Square Mall are a glimpse of how a peaceful Iraq may one day look.
Outside the mall, meanwhile, the smell on the air is not usually fresh pizza or coffee, but an equally fresh smell of sewage – the result of long-unsolved sanitation problems that also make Basra's salty tap water all but undrinkable.
Ahead of this Saturday's elections, Haider Al Abadi, the country's prime minister, has blamed all these problems on another, equally strong smell coming out of Basra – the stench of corruption, on a massive scale.
All sources quoted or referenced spoke to Iraq Oil Report directly and exclusively, unless stated otherwise. Iraq Oil Report typically grants anonymity to sources that can't speak without risking their personal safety or job security. We only publish information from anonymous sources that we independently corroborate and are important to core elements of the story. We do not provide anonymity to sources whose purpose is to further personal or political agendas.Iraq Oil Report Commitment to Independence
Iraq Oil Report strives to provide thoroughly vetted reporting and fair-minded analysis that enables readers to understand the dynamic events of Iraq. To meet this goal, we always seek to gather first-hand information on the ground, verify facts from multiple angles, and solicit input from every stakeholder involved in a given story.
We view our independence as an integral piece of our competitive advantage. Whereas many media entities in Iraq are owned or heavily influenced by political parties, Iraq Oil Report is wholly owned by several of its employees. In a landscape that is often polarized and politicized, we are able to gather and corroborate information from an unusually wide array of sources because we can speak with all of them in good faith.
To fund this enterprise, Iraq Oil Report depends on revenue from both advertising and subscriptions. Some of our advertisers and subscribers ‐ including companies, governments, and NGOs ‐ are also subjects of our reporting. Consistent with journalistic best practices, Iraq Oil Report maintains a strict firewall that removes business considerations from editorial decision-making. When we are choosing which stories to report and how to write them, our readers always come first.