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(…)

Kurds building bridge to link region with Syria

Azzaman, May 3, 2013 Iraqi Kurdish authorities are constructing a bridge over the Tigris River to link their region with Syria, a statement said. The statement by the Kurdish northern Province of Dahouk said the bridge was to facilitate movement of people and commodities between their region and Syria. The bridge will replace the Peshkhabour(…)

Violence destroyed industry in restive province

By Salam al-Shammari Azzaman, May 2, 2013 The violence that swept Iraq in the aftermath of the 2003-U.S. invasion has destroyed the industrial base in the Province of Diyala, a senior provincial official has said. Abdulhusain al-Shammari, head of Diyala’s municipality, said there were 85 major factories which were burned, ransacked or looted after the(…)

Why Arab heads of state never get poisoned or booby-trapped letters

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, April 29, 2013 Why is that no Arab leader has ever received a poisoned or booby-trapped letter? Many world leaders have received such letters among them U.S. President Barak Obama and German President Joachim Guack. Arab leaders are not at risk of having such letters sent to them because their citizens(…)

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(…)