Iraq imposes 50% tax on imports

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, June 2, 2012 The government has slapped a 50% tax on all goods entering Iraq. The rule is to come into force by the beginning of July this year. The decision has raised fears of a substantial hike in all foreign goods entering the country. With the Iraqi industry still in [...]

Gigantic housing project inaugurated in Baghdad

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, May 31, 2012 Prime Minister Nouri al-Malaki has laid down the foundation stone for a gigantic housing project that will provide decent homes for nearly one million people in Baghdad. The new project is a new city by itself as its first stage includes the construction of 100,000 housing units. The [...]

New measures to integrate returning Iraqi refugees

By Zeena Shamel Azzaman, May 30, 2011 Iraq is swamped with refugees coming home following years of internal or external exile. Government and U.N. reports estimated that up to 4 million Iraqis have been on the move since the 2003-U.S. invasion. Two million of them opted to flee the upsurge in violence that following the [...]

Power shortages spark political row in Iraq

By Basem Hussein Azzaman, May 29, 2012 As Iraq’s scorching summer months approach, worries about power shortages have come to the fore with the Electricity Ministry officials warning of protracted daily outages. In the meantime, pledges by the ministry that conditions will improve dramatically once major power stations currently under construction come on stream are [...]

Iraq to surpass Saudi Arabia in oil exports in 2017

By Hussein al-Alawi Azzaman, May 28, 2012 Iraq is to emerge as the world’s top exporter of oil in 2017, replacing Saudi Arabia which has dominated world oil exports for decades, U.S. ambassador to Iraq James Jeffery said. Jeffery made the remarks at the end of his term as U.S. ambassador to Iraq. He said [...]

Saddam Hussein’s daughter to publish her father’s memoirs

By Ranad al-Hashemi Azzaman, May 27, 2012 The daughter of the former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein is seeking an international publisher to print her father’s memoirs, her lawyer Haytham Nabeel said. Raghad Saddam Hussein currently lives in Jordan. Nabeel said she “has a full hand-written version of her father’s memoirs.” Nabeel did not say in [...]

Iraqi dinar firms on reports of rise in oil exports

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, May 25, 2012 The Iraqi dinar has regained the ground it lost to the U.S. dollar following a surge in demand for the greenback driven mainly by international sanctions on both Iran and Syria. The dinar is now trading at 1200 to the dollar, the rate the Central Bank had set [...]

Iraq seeks IMF help to lessen reliance on oil exports

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 24, 2012 Iraq is seeking advice from the International Monetary Fund to help it diversify its economy and lessen its almost total reliance on oil exports for hard cash. An IMF team, led by the Fund’s regional director, Hadi al-Alawi, has just ended a visit to the country to explore [...]

The unknown in Iran’s relations with Iraq’s Kurdish region

By Fatih Abdulsalam It is not possible to read any page in the explosive Iraqi political scene without the Iran factor. Iran is the country which closely monitors the balances and interests of power in Iraq, particularly in the wake of the crisis between Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and the head of the Kurdish region, [...]

Violence returns to Iraq’s Falluja

By Hassan al-Hili Azzaman, May 16, 2012 Iraq’s Falluja has been placed under strict curfew following an upsurge in violent attacks blamed on the Iraqi branch of al-Qaeda. In the latest attack at least 24 people were either killed or injured, a security source said, adding that more sporadic attacks were reported in different parts [...]