Q&A: Barham Salih

Shortly after signing watershed deals with ExxonMobil, the KRG's prime minister discusses the resource curse, the U.S. withdrawal, and the future of Kurdistan's oil sector.
Barham Salih, prime minister of Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government, in his office in Erbil. (BEN LANDO/Iraq Oil Report)

ERBIL - Barham Salih left his post as Iraq's deputy prime minister in 2009, to become prime minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government. But as key issues between the central and regional governments remain unresolved, Baghdad still takes up much of his time.

He led two crucial delegations south this year, in January and October. The first visit restarted exports from KRG-administered oil fields, and also jump-started the long-stalled legislative efforts to pass an oil law. The second was largely an attempt to save the deal reached in January.

This content is for registered users. Please login to continue.
If you are not a registered user, you may purchase a subscription or sign up for a free trial.
Iraq Oil Report Attribution Policy

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.

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.

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.