Unemployed Iraqis entitled to interest-free loans to start new businesses

 By Shayma Adel Azzaman, April 28, 2013 Unemployment is rampant in Iraq and in some provinces it is estimated at around 30 per cent of the working population. The rising jobless figures are a matter of concern for the government, which sees the army of unemployed Iraqis as one of the reasons fueling unrest and(…)

Iraq keeping banknotes unchanged throughout 2013

By Ali Sahttab Azzaman, April 27, 2013 Iraq’s Central Bank will not remove three zeros from its currency, the dinar, a move it had said it wanted to implement in 2013. The bank had drawn up plans to start replacing current banknotes with new ones, deleting three zeros and reducing the volume of dinars in(…)

Inside Iraq: Sunni tribes call for arms

By Samer Elias Saeed Azzaman, April 26, 2013 A senior Iraqi tribal chieftain has urged his tribesmen to carry arms to defend their areas. The head of Dulaimi tribes Ali al-Sulaiman, one of the largest and most powerful in Iraq, has also warned Iraqi army units and security forces not to risk leaving their barracks.(…)

Fears of upsurge in violence mount in Iraq as Qaeda strikes with vengeance

By Salam al-Shamari Azzaman, April 23, 2013 There are signs that the al-Qaeda branch in Iraq is getting stronger amid reports of an influx of operatives from Syria, Iraqi security officials said. The officials, speaking on conditions of anonymity for fear of reprisals, said large swathes of Diyala Province have been penetrated by the group,(…)

New restrictions imposed on sale of greenback in Iraq

 By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, April 22, 2013 To stem a rush on the U.S. the dollar, the government has forbidden banks from selling the currency at official prices, restricting the trade to two branches of the state-run al-Rasheed Bank. The restrictions follow a surge in demand for the greenback and what the Finance Ministry has(…)

Education Ministry employs more than 21,000 former members of Saddam Hussein’s party

 By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, April 21, 2013 The Ministry of Educations says it employs more than 21,000 members of the former Baath party which ruled the country under Saddam Hussein prior to the 2003-U.S. invasion. But Education Minister Mohammed Tameem says the Baathists in his ministry are qualified personnel and their services are needed for(…)

Iraq says high rate of executions justified

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, April 19, 2013 The execution of large numbers of convicted ‘terrorists’ is justified, Iraq’s Ministry of Justice says. “The country passes through extraordinary conditions which require the hanging of large numbers of terrorists who maim and kill innocent civilians,” a source at the ministry said. The source, refusing to be named,(…)

Victims of ‘joint cooperation’ among Arab heads of state

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, April 18, 2013 There is one sentence that follows almost every meeting between two Arab heads of state: “The two leaders have discussed joint cooperation.” The sentence is so generic and so pregnant with semantics that it can mean anything and everything, which means it is superfluous because it means nothing.(…)

Iraq raises prices of locally produced grains

By Khawla al-Ukaili Azzaman, April 17, 2013 Iraq has increased rates it pays to its wheat, barley and rice growers, a parliamentarian in the Water and Agriculture Commission has said. Kareem Elaywi said farmers shipping their produce to government silos will receive 900,000 dinars for a ton of wheat, 750,000 dinars for a ton of(…)

Stability in power supplies leads to surge in prices of cooling gadgets

By Samer Saeed Azzaman, April 15, 2013 After decades of outages, Iraq’s national grid is set to provide Iraqis with electricity for most of the day. Reports from the Ministry of Electricity say that the grid has improved and it is on its way to generated up to 12000 megawatts – slightly more than the(…)

Will the U.S. apologize to Iraq for its disgraceful 2003 invasion?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, April 12, 2013 March 20 marked the 10th anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, a country that had not attacked America or posed the slightest threat to it. It is therefore disgraceful to see some Iraqis celebrating the occupation of the country by U.S.. troop under the rubric of ridding(…)

Iraq ends cooperation with Siemens for failure to honor contracts

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, April 11, 2013 The Ministry of Electricity has ended “all forms of cooperation” with Siemens, a global powerhouse in electronics and electrical engineering, a senior official said. The ministry’s spokesperson Musaib al-Mudaris accused the company of failure to honor obligations under contracts to build power plants in the country. He said(…)

British archaeologists return to Iraq for first time in more than 20 years

By Khawla al-Ukaili Azzaman, April 9, 2013 British archaeologists are back to Iraq after more than two decades of absence and have started digging at a Mesopotamian site close to the fabled city of Ur, the British embassy in Baghdad said in a statement. The statement said the team of six scientists is from the(…)

Iraq to hit “final nail in coffin of darkness” in October

Azzaman, April 8, 2013 Iraq says October this year will see an end to power shortages in the country and advises owners of private generators to start selling their machines to junk traders. “The Ministry (of Electricity) has the ability to solve the crisis of power in the country by the end of October in(…)

Deputy premier says parties involved in ‘illegal’ oil exports

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, April 6, 2013 There are some parties who are involved in selling oil illegally in Iraq, Deputy Prime Minister Husain al-Shahristani said. Shahristani, who supervises the country’s energy sector, warned that the government was keen to put end to such exports. “Quantities of oil are being exported without the knowledge of(…)

Antiquities Department lashes out at ‘meager’ budget allocations

By Noor Ali Azzaman, April 5, 2013 Allocations for the Department of Antiquities for 2013 will hardly meet 15 percent of needs to guard, preserve and excavate the country’s ancient riches, said Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Liwa Sumaism. Sumaism made the remarks amid reports that hundreds of major Mesopotamian landmarks are unprotected and that(…)

Iraqi deputies spar over ‘Iranian arms to Syria’

By Khaula al-Ukaili Azzaman, April 3, 2013 The issue of the alleged flow of Iranian arms to Syria via Iraqi airspace has divided disparate Iraqi political factions and their representatives in parliament. The issue was brought to the attention of Prime Minister Noori al-Maliki during a visit to Baghdad last month by U.S. State Secretary(…)

Experts urge government to turn marshes into natural reserve

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, April 2, 2013 Iraqi experts attending a festival in southern Iraq urged the government to declare Iraqi marshes a national park. The festival, in which marsh Arabs and their representatives took part, is part of a series of activities Iraq Nature Organization is bringing together to lobby the government and international(…)

Iraq says it will confront Turkish aerial incursions

By Samer Saeed Azzaman, April 1, 2013 Iraq has warned Turkey to halt flights by its warplanes and unmanned aerial vehicles into its airspace. The warning comes amid reports of a surge in violations by Turkish fighters and drones of Iraqi skies in pursuit of what Ankara says are Turkish Kurdish rebels taking Iraqi mountains(…)

Iraq imported more than 5 million tons of food last year

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, March 29, 2013 Iraq imported 5.4 million tons of food last year to cover its state-run food rationing system, according to the Director-General of the state-run Grain Board of Iraq. The system, initiated in 1990 to offset impact of punitive U.N. trade sanctions, allows Iraqi families free access to quantities of(…)