895 new artifacts handed in to Iraq Museum

Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 31, 2013 The Antiquities Department says it has received 895 artifacts from Iraqi government offices and ordinary citizens. The artifacts, the department says, have already been passed to the Iraq Museum. The handover is one of the largest and for the first time includes the transfer of archaeological pieces by government(…)

Will the Middle East turn into semi-states run by militias?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, May 30, 2013 The active participation of militias in the conflict in Syria is no longer a secret. However, the move is a dangerous development that will possibly open the door for the return of sectarian fighting in neighboring Iraq, known for its own ruthless militia factions. In fact there are(…)

Iraq’s gas output to reach 115 billion cubic meters in 2035

 Azzaman, May 28, 2013 Iraq plans to become a major gas producer and exporter in the third decade of the 21st century, the chairman of the Iraqi Energy Academy Ibrahim Baher al-Uloom said. Uloom said major projects were underway in the country to put end to the flaring of gas from Iraqi oil fields and(…)

Indian oil firm terminates contract with Iran; opts for Iraqi crude

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 27, 2013 An Indian oil major is reported to have stopped buying Iranian crude in response to pressure from the U.S. and other western states. India’s largest oil and refining company, Hindustan Petroleum, is said to have signed a contract with Iraq’s SOMO, the country’s oil export arm, for the(…)

Iraq launches ‘big’ offensive against al-Qaeda bases in western province

By Abdulzahra al-Mahmadawi Azzaman, May 26, 2013 Thousands of Iraqi troops are involved in what is described here as “the biggest offensive” against al-Qaeda since the withdrawal of U.S. occupation troops nearly two years ago. More than 20,000 troops supported by armor and helicopter gunships are sweeping the western desert which is part of the(…)

British scientist entrances audiences by playing ancient Babylonian musical piece

Azzaman, May 24, 2013 A British archaeologist received a resounding applause from hundreds of experts attending a symposium on the wonders of ancient Babylon following his performance of a Babylonian musical piece. The symposium was held in the Greek Theater in ancient Babylon and was attended by some of the world’s top Mesopotamian archaeologists among(…)

Iraq’s Kirkuk to build moat to prevent car bombings

Iraq’s Kirkuk to build moat to prevent car bombings By Marwan al-Anai Azzaman, May 23, 2013 Kirkuk will soon be ringed with a fortified moat to prevent vehicles reaching the oil-rich city without passing through the checkpoints manning the highways leading to it. The digging of the new ditch comes on the heels of massive(…)

Financial instability due to “unauthorized statements,” says Central Bank

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 21, 2013 The volatility of the Iraqi currency, the dinar, is deterring both Iraqi and foreign entrepreneurs from investing in the country, the Central Bank said in a statement. The statement comes following a volatile period that has seen the dinar weakening vis-à-vis the U.S. dollar despite Central Bank’s measures(…)

Foreign firms flee restive province

By Nouriddeen Hameed Azzaman, May 20, 2013 Scores of foreign firms have fled the restive Iraqi Province of Anbar, a senior provincial official said. The official, Saadoum al-Shaalan, said the flight of foreign firms comes amid an upsurge in violence that has swept the country in the past few months. Explosions and car bombings have(…)

Premier orders arrest of security chiefs for failure to thwart attacks

 By Salam al-Shammari Azzaman, May 19, 2013 The latest upsurge in violence that has seen hundreds of fatalities in the past few days has prompted the Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to order the arrest of security chiefs in charge of areas where the explosions and car bombings have taken place. Maliki is commander-in-chief in Iraq(…)

Corruption has no bounds in Iraq

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, May 17, 20103 The corruption in Iraq has turned into a phenomenon, which is certain to be there for generations to come. The only way to put an end to it is through the formation of a national unity government that will make fighting corruption its top priority. There are two(…)

Parliament to summon finance minister as dinar loses more value against dollar

By Dalya Ahmad Azzaman, May 16, 2013 The parliament has decided to call in the Finance Minister and heads of Iraqi banks following the latest slump in the value of the Iraqi dinar vis-à-vis the dollar. The move comes as the dinar dropped to more than 1300 to the dollar at a time the Central(…)

Iraqi agricultural sector booming, says deputy minister

Iraqi agricultural sector booming, says deputy minister By Khawla al-Aukaili Azzaman, May 14, 2013 Iraq currently has the ability to meet domestic needs for vegetables and fruits of different kinds, said deputy Agriculture Minister Ghazi al-Ubaidi. Ubaidi said the country has seen leaps in agricultural produce following the implementation of a self-sufficiency plan that was(…)

Iraq’s hard cash reserves highest in history

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 13, 2013 Iraq’s Central Bank coffers brim with hard cash and in quantities never seen in its history, a Central Bank said. “The volume of hard cash reserves of the Iraqi Central Bank have reached $74 billion. This the highest figure of reserves ever in Iraq’s history,” the bank added.(…)

France’s Alstom building $450 million power plant for Diyala Province

By Salam al-Shamari Azzaman, May 11, 2013 Work has started in earnest on a new power plant that will specifically serve the inhabitants of the Province of Diyala, said Turath Al-Azawi the province’s information officer. The plant is one of the largest in the country and will generate 730 megawatts of electricity on completion, Azawi(…)

Iraq to build new ‘grand’ museum

Azzaman, May 10, 2013 Iraq is to build a new museum to house its archaeological riches, said the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Liwa Sumaism Iraq is one of the world’s richest in archaeological sites and finds and scientists say the current museum in Baghdad no longer has enough space for the artifacts it receives.(…)

Iraq predicts bumper harvest for 2013

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, May 8, 2013 The Trade Ministry has raised wheat and barley prices it offers to Iraqi farmers to encourage them to ferry their produce to state- run silos. The Grain Board of Iraq, a state-run firm affiliated to the Trade Ministry, says recent heavy downpours, particularly in southern provinces have delayed(…)

Britain pleased with contracts to develop Iraq’s oil and gas riches

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, May 7, 20013 Britain encourages its companies to contribute to Iraq’s development, particularly its oil and gas riches, said Britain’s ambassador to Iraq Simon Collis. “I warmly welcome the direct participation of British firms in the project of Basra Gas, which is aimed at putting an end to the flaring of(…)

Iraqi politicians accused of meddling in Central Bank auctions

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, May 6, 2013 A parliamentary commission has found that influential Iraqi politicians have been meddling in hard cash auctions the Central Bank has been organizing to stabilized the local currency, the dinar. The Central Bank of Iraq has been holding auctions since 2004, selling an average of $180 million on a(…)

Iraq reports plunge in poverty and unemployment levels

 By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 5, 2013 Poverty rates have plunged to 17% from 23% in the years since the Ministry of Planning started implementing its development plan aimed at reducing jobless rates, the ministry’s spokesperson said. Abdulzahra al-Hindawi said the plan to reduce unemployment and poverty rates in the country had started in 2010(…)