Baghdad appears to have put pragmatism before politics in a deal to process federal crude in a Kurdish refinery. Both sides will benefit but it provides more ammunition to the prime minister’s opponents. A subsequent MoU with Iran looks to be political show rather than anything meaningful.

Iraq’s Minister of Oil Jabbar al-Luaibi this week announced an unexpected agreement with Erbil-based Kar for the processing of 40,000 b/d of crude oil from federally-controlled fields at the...