News

Army and police should avoid recruiting on ethnic and sectarian grounds

Azzaman, February 6, 2013 The Iraqi army and security forces should belong to the nation at large and not a specific sect or ethnic group. National identity that transcends sectarian divisions is vital for Iraq’s prosperity and future as a unified country. Therefore, it is shocking and mind-boggling to see the government, through the Defense(…)

Iraq warns Kurds over oil exports to Turkey

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, January 28, 2013 Iraq has issued a stern warning to Kurds over their attempts to export large quantities of crude oil to Turkey. “This is a red line,” warned Iraqi Oil Minister Abdulkareem al-Aibi. The warning came as the minister was briefing the local press on the surge in the country’s(…)

Iraq’s Missan Province emerges as major oil producer

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, January 26, 2013 The southern Province of Missan has emerged as a major oil producer in Iraq as more of its giant oil fields come on stream. Foreign firms are developing Missan fields and currently the province produces 230,000 barrels of oil a day, according to Ali Muaarij the head of(…)

Iraq’s health per capita expenditure lowest among neighboring states

By Zeena Sami Azzaman, January 15, 2013 Iraq’s expenditures on health are the lowest in the region, the parliamentary commission on health and environment has revealed. The commission’s head Jawad al-Bazoni said Iraqi health allocations were still far below those in neighboring states and the country suffered from a drastic shortage of medical consultants. “Iraq’s(…)

Iraq rice yields far below domestic needs

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, January 14, 2013 Iraq’s 2012 rice harvest hardly meets a fraction of domestic needs, figures by Trade Ministry reveal. In a statement, the ministry said Iraq’s local rice produce totaled 149,000 tons in 2012 while domestic consumption  was estimated at more than two million tons a year. Rice yields in 2012(…)

Wealthy Arabs have failed Syrian refugees

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, January 13, 2013 There are hundreds of thousands of refugees who fled violence in Syria seeking refuge in neighboring states. The refugees are vulnerable not only to bad weather conditions but almost all of them cannot make ends meet as the majority of them are women and children. Some Arab states(…)

More than 2.5 million tourists visited Iraq in 2012

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, January 12, 2013 More than 2.5 million tourists visited Iraq in 2012 most of them on pilgrimage to the country’s holy shrines, new figures have revealed. The figures were issued by the Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism and show that Iraq has become a mecca for Muslim tourists, mainly Shiites from(…)

U.S. holds 80,000 Iraqi antiquities

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, January 11, 2012 The U.S. still keeps 80,000 Iraqi artifacts and refuses to turn them back to the Iraq Museum, a senior Antiquities Department official has said. The official, Hazem al-Shammari, said Iraqi authorities were in touch with their U.S. counterparts but the discussion have so far led to nothing. Shammari(…)

Exile Iraqi pilots join the newly formed Iraqi Airways

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, January 8, 2012 Iraq’s national carrier was one of the world’s safest and most efficient when U.N. trade sanctions prevented it from flying. Its nearly two dozen planes that were flown to safety to neighboring Iran and Jordan as well as Tunisia were grounded without maintenance or repairs. When the sanctions,(…)

Why do Arab leaders abhor the idea of resignation?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, January 7, 2012 Celebrities and stars whether in sports or arts resign while they are at the peak of their success. They, their fans and other people celebrate their resignation. The occasion is seen as a torch that lights up for posterity the peaks they have reached. Resigning while one basks(…)

Iraq wants Iran to expedite construction of gas pipeline

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, December 31, 2012 Iraq’s consumption of gas is surging with demand surpassing supply, according to the country’s parliamentary commission on energy. The commission has prepared a report on Iraq gas consumption and says without imports there will not enough energy to drive power plants and other gas-driven installations in the country.(…)

Government says it will solve issue of former army officers

By Ali Jassem Azzaman, December 19, 2012 The government says it is determined to solve the issue of all the officers of the former army, which was disbanded shortly after the 2003-U.S. invasion. It has set the end of 2013 to get the tens of thousands of officers either back to serve in the current(…)

Kurds agree to withdraw their militias from oil-rich Kirkuk

By Laith Jawad Kurdish leaders have agreed to withdraw their militias, known locally as peshemerga, from the oil-rich Province of Kirkuk, paving the way for a rapprochement with the central government in Baghdad. Iraqi national army had deployed troops in the province prompting the Kurds to send in their militias. Now Iraqi legislators say both(…)

Ministry receives 21 artifacts stolen from Iraq Museum in 2003

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, December 17, 2012 The Spanish ambassador to Iraq has handed over 21 archaeological pieces to the Ministry of culture and Antiquities. The artifacts were among the thousands of items that were looted from the Iraq Museum shortly after the 2003-U.S. invasion. The ambassador,  Jose Turpin, presented the artifacts to the Iraqi(…)

More than 5 million Iraqi children lack basic rights

By Laith Jawad Azzaman, December 15, 2012 At least 32 per cent of children in Iraq live in conditions which lack basic rights and services, a new survey has revealed. The survey, conducted by U.N.’s children organization (UNICEF) and the Iraqi Ministry of Planning, is the first detailed study of the conditions of Iraqi children(…)

Syria and its surprises

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, December 13, 2012 The whole of Syria is now in a state of faint. There is great risk that this state of affairs will continue and aggravate. For Syria to awake and pursue normal life is hard to see. So, wait for more surprises as the fighting approaches the capital Damascus(…)

Government threatens to slash Kurds’ quota of oil royalties

By Zeena Sami Azzaman, December 12, 2012 The feud between the central government and its regional counterpart in the Kurdish north is spilling over to finances. As tensions between the sides are mounting and fears of a military confrontation rising, the government in Baghdad has said it intends to slash Kurdish share of Iraqi oil(…)

Basra’s governor to visit U.S.

By Basem al-Rikabi The governor of the southern Province of Basra Khalaf Abdulsamad is visiting the U.S. this week for talks with American firms willing to invest in Iraq. Basra is currently Iraq’s most promising province for foreign entrepreneurs. In addition to federal government allocations, the province has its own budget which it draws from(…)

Ancient language makes comeback in Iraq

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, December 9, 2012 At least one of the Middle East’s ancient languages may not be doomed to extinction, thanks to the liberal tendencies that have been a characteristic of Iraq’s educational system in the past few years. Since the downfall of the regime of Saddam Hussein, the government has removed restrictions(…)

Iraqis cheer Merril Lynch’s economic growth estimates for their country

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, December 8, 2012 Iraqis of different walks of life have welcomed a report by an American bank that their country will see the fastest growth in the world this year and in 2013. The bank, Merrill Lynch, one of the world’s leading financial management and advisory companies, has said in a(…)