Iraq sends big delegation to Tehran to boost economic ties

By Nashor Ali Azzaman, August 15, 2012 Deputy-Prime Minister Roz Shawees has taken a big delegation with him on a visit to Tehran for talks with Iranian officials to boost relations between the countries. The delegation includes Iraqi ministers of finance, trade and industry as well as the governor of the Central Bank. The  talks [...]

Iraqi wheat produce largest in 30 years

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, August 14, 2012 Government silos are brimming with wheat as this year’s harvest has surpassed expectations, The Director General of Iraq Grain Board Amer Abdulaziz said. Abdulaziz said despite discouraging weather conditions Iraqi farmers have shipped 1.9 million tons of wheat to government silos. “The yields are the largest in 30 [...]

feed shortage slashes poultry farm output in Iraq by more than half

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, August 13, 2012 Feed shortages have reduced Iraq’s poultry output and may threaten the industry with collapse, said state-run Company for Animal Wealth Services. The company’s Director General Musdiq Dalphi attributed the crisis to the disturbances in Syria, which are preventing the flow of feeds to the country. Dalphi said Iraq [...]

Arms smuggling to Syria turns into big business in Iraq

By Zeena Sami Azzaman, August 11, 2012 Prices of automatic rifles and pistols are soaring in Iraq as illegal traders try to smuggle them across the border for sale in strife-torn Syria. Most of the roaring business is taking place in low-income neighborhoods in major Iraqi cities where the poor are selling their personal arms [...]

Antiquities Department resumes digs in three Iraqi provinces

By Khayoon Saleh Azzaman, August 10, 2012 Four archeological teams have begun excavations in the provinces of Basra, Dhiqar and Missan, according to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Liwa Sumaism. “The teams are led by highly qualified Iraqi experts and they have been provided with all the requirements to do a good job,” the [...]

Iraqi foreign exchange offices implicated in money laundering and smuggling

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, August 8, 2012 Foreign exchange offices have become conduits for the smuggling and laundering of hard cash in the country, said Central Bank Governor Mudher Saleh. Saleh said high-level government and party officials were involved in illegal money exchange operations primarily aimed at smuggling dollars abroad. “Most of these offices are [...]

Defection of Syrian prime minister will not shake regime in Damascus

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, August 7, 2012 Will the regime of President Bashar al-Assad collapse following the defection of Syrian Prime Minister Riad Hijab to the opposition? The answer is easy for observers with knowledge about regimes which evolve around one person or a family circle as is the situation in Syria. A regime like [...]

Central bank to vet Iraqi purchases in dollars to stem hard cash smuggling

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, August 6, 2012 Iraq has placed new restrictions on purchases by Iraqi traders of foreign goods in latest bid to bring the flow of billions of dollars abroad every month under control, Central Bank Governor Mudher Saleh said. Saleh said the bank no longer favors cash payments or direct transfers of [...]

Iraq and Turkey on collision course

Azzaman, August 5, 2012 Iraq is not battling internal problems only. With its relations getting sour with Turkey in the north and not on the right course with Saudi Arabia in the south, the country now has its own international headaches to grabble with. One sometimes wonders whether the U.S., which invaded Iraq in 2003, [...]

Specter of war looms in Iraq

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, August 4, 2012 Is there a mediating power capable of solving the current crisis between Baghdad and the Kurdish region before it transforms into full-scale war? Constitutionally, the sides can get no recourse. The constitution has been embalmed and rendered powerless after years of violations that hard turned it into corpse. [...]