The key to independence for the Kurds has always rested on oil resources. After the central Iraqi government claimed that their oil exports and contracts were illegal and in violation of the constitution, the Kurdish political elite decided it was time to either renegotiate terms with Baghdad or push for complete separation. This article seeks to understand the influence of oil resources on the relationship between Erbil and Baghdad, and the effect they had on the push toward the 2017 referendum. There are substantial ambiguities in the Iraqi constitution regarding oil resources that also influence the Erbil-Baghdad relationship.
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