Good news in Iraq never lasts long. Just a week after political actors chose a new President and coalesced around MP Mohammed al-Sudani as the prime minister designate (MEES, 14 October) following a volatile year of political disagreements, the country has been shaken up by a ID3.7tr ($2.5bn) scandal that is being coined domestically as “the theft of the century.”

The issue was first disclosed on 15 October by current oil minister and formerly acting finance minister Ihsan Ismaael. The revelation appears to be at least partly in retaliation for parliament forcing him out from the finance ministry on 11 October. Mr Ismaael is a close ally of caretaker PM Mustafa al-Kadhimi who appointed him to the finance portfolio in mid-August despite rising criticism by MPs and on social media over his expanding role. (CONTINUED - 993 WORDS)