WASHINGTON - JUNE 26 - In the past few weeks, U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates, U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and the chief U.S. commander in the Mideast, Admiral William Fallon, have all traveled to Baghdad to press Iraqi Prime Minister Maliki to pass a controversial oil law.
Five Nobel Peace Prize laureates have just released a statement against the U.S. pressure on the Iraqi government.
The Nobel Peace Prize Laureates -- Betty Williams, Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Jody Williams, Shirin Ebadi and Wangari Maathai -- have released the statement in opposition to the Iraq Oil Law and U.S. pressure on the Iraqi government to pass the law, which favors foreign companies.
The Laureates' statement is as follows:
"In support of the people of Iraq, we the undersigned Nobel Peace Prize Laureates state our opposition to the Iraq Oil Law. We also oppose the decision of the United States government to require that the Iraq government pass the Oil Law as a condition of continued reconstruction aid in legislation passed on May 24, 2007. A law with the potential to so radically transform the basic economic security of the people of Iraq should not be forced on Iraq while it is under occupation and in such a weak negotiating position vis-Ă -vis both the U.S. government and foreign oil corporations. The Iraq Oil Law could benefit foreign oil companies at the expense of the Iraqi people, deny the Iraqi people economic security, create greater instability, and move the country further away from peace. The U.S. government should leave the matter of how Iraq will address the future of its oil system to the Iraqi people to be dealt with at a time when they are free from occupation and more able to engage in truly democratic decision-making. It is immoral and illegal to use war and invasion as mechanisms for robbing a people of their vital natural resources."
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