Juan Cole (Informed Comment) writes:
The disposition of the oil-rich province of Kirkuk remains a ticking time bomb in Iraq's north.
The Kurds intend to annex it to Kurdistan. Most Turkmen and Arabs are violently opposed to this step, as is neighboring Turkey. The referendum scheduled for last December was postponed six months, but seems unlikely to take place in June, either.
Some Iraqis, including some Kurds, are talking about a negotiated settlement of the question rather than a referendum (which the Kurds would win since they have flooded Kirkuk province with Kurds).