Basra "Takes Further Steps Toward Independence"

Meanwhile other commentators have different ideas. Basra MP, Jawad al-Bazouni, says he would prefer a larger region made up of the nine Shiite-Muslim majority provinces in Iraq. “We don't encourage the creation of a one-province region because we don't want cross-border conflicts about resources between different provinces,” he told NIQASH. “There are shared resources like the oil and electricity companies as well as water resources and hospitals.”

Al-Bazouni also played the “it's the neighbours' fault” card, saying that other countries were supporting the attempt at a more independent Basra.

And he says that rather than forming a region, it would be more realistic and better all round to put an amended piece of legislation called Law 21 into action. This law would see local governments choosing their own judiciary and their own heads of security as well as taking more control over their own money, increasing the amount they get based on the amount they contribute – something that's obviously very significant to oil-producing Basra.

“If that law was implemented, the powers of eight different ministries would be transferred to the provincial authorities and it would give the provincial governments an opportunity to test their capacities and abilities,” he notes.

Up until now, al-Bazouni says, plans to work with the new Law 21 have been hindered by the federal war effort against the extremist group known as the Islamic State.

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