Shahristani leads government charge into summer

The deputy prime minister for energy preempts critics in a televised cabinet meeting intended to be a confidence builder at the government's 100 day deadline.
Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussain al-Shahristani (right) with China National Petroleum Corp. and Iraqi Oil Ministry officials at a June 4, 2011, visit to the Rumaila oil field. Rumaila was awarded to BP and CNPC to develop into a 2.85 million bpd field in seven years. (ALI ABU IRAQ/Iraq Oil Report)

BAGHDAD - Five hours before what was to be a major press conference to answer questions about what the Iraqi government has done to improve the oil and electricity sectors – and the lives of Iraqis – in the past 100 days, the press office of the Cabinet sent a statement: delayed until further notice.

Deputy Prime Minister for Energy Affairs Hussain al-Shahristani, who was oil minister from mid-2006 until late 2010, simply canceled it, according to people familiar with the event. The day prior he was the keynote presenter at a made-for-TV Cabinet meeting, recorded and broadcast on state TV at prime time, and he had nothing more to say.

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