Iraq's cabinet has approved changes to a draft oil law and sent it to parliament in a step seen as vital to curbing sectarian violence.
Nuri al-Maliki, Iraq's prime minister, said it was the "most important" law in the country.
"The law was approved unanimously ... it was referred to the parliament which will discuss it tomorrow," he said.
"I call on all our partners in the political process and in this national unity government to respect this deal."
A couple of years ago, I wasn't entirely convinced that our invasion of Iraq was entirely about OIL. These days I'm not so sure of that.
They've toned down the language a bit, made some concessions on some percentages, and shortened some timeframes for leases, but the Iraq Oil Law is still all about production sharing agreements, and a few troublesome folks aren't buying off on it.
Followers of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr on Thursday joined a growing chorus of Sunni, Kurdish and Shiite opposition to a draft oil law approved by Iraq's cabinet and backed by the US government.
Sadr's supporters said they would not support any law that would allow firms 'whose governments are occupying Iraq' -- a reference to the US, Britain and their coalition allies -- to sign Iraqi oil deals.
My guess is that the surge was all about stabilizing just enough of Baghdad and buying just enough time to get the infamous oil law signed, and not about anything else.
Presentation of the draft to parliament after the cabinet approved it on Tuesday was a big step towards meeting a key political target set by the US.
Please prove me wrong.