With political and social upheaval, first in Tunisia and now in Egypt, the big question on many minds at the moment is to what extent the unrest will spread to other countries in the Arab world.
But despite the undoubted poverty in Iraq, it is rarely mentioned as possible candidate for a popular uprising, and the reason is that Iraq has a functioning democratic system, painfully slow and imperfect though it may be. The people of Iraq have had the chance to express their opinions at the ballot box.
The turmoil is clearly having an impact on Iraq in another way: the price of oil. Hitting $102 on Wednesday, crude oil is up 7% in the past week, and is well above the $73 per barrel on which the country’s 2011 budget is based.
A spokesman for Iraq’s Ministry of Oil confirmed that the Egyptian situation would not restrict Iraq’s output and export of oil, and if that continues to be the case, Iraq may stand to benefit significantly from these developments.