U.S. invasion and occupation turn Iraq into failed state

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, March 10, 2013 Ten years after the U.S. invasion and subsequent occupation, Iraq has disappeared as a state with central authority. True, there is a central government in Baghdad but the authorities there rely on a U.S.-engineered constitution that has created a huge gap between theory and practice. Theoretically, the government(…)

Iran wants to abolish entry visas with Iraq

By Saadoun al-Jaberi Azzaman, March 8, 2013 Iran’s Foreign Minister Ali Akhbar Salehi has said his country wants to abolish entry visa with Iraq Salehi, who is on a private visit to the holy city of Najaf, said ties between the countries were expanding and the abolition of visas “will enable the peoples of the(…)

More than 1000 Christians killed in Iraq since 2003-U.S. invasion

By Wail Matti Azzaman, March 7, 2013 More than 1000 Iraqi Christians, all civilians, have been killed since the 2003-U.S. invasion of Iraq, the country’s most senior clergyman said. Patriarch Louis Rafael, who was officially nominated in Baghdad on Wednesday, said attacks on his community have driven hundreds of thousands of his followers to flee(…)

Russia’s Lukoil says Iraq’s West Qurna to go on stream end of year

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, March 5, 2013 Russia’s Lukoil says its development of Iraq’s West Qurna is proceeding smoothly and the field is to produce 150,000 barrels a day by the end of this year. “The projects our company is executing in Iraq are of paramount importance. We are preparing to turn West Qurna 2(…)

U.N. is Syria’s ‘silent witness’

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, March 4, 2013 Nearly two years after the bloodshed and the untold miseries and atrocities in Syria, the U.N. has had the guts to speaks out. Its words have no clout but at least paint part of the social reality of a country in turmoil. U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon raised(…)

Surge in attacks on domestic oil pipelines

By Samer Saeed Azzaman, March 2, 2013 There has been a surge in attacks on oil pipelines ferrying fuel products between Iraqi provinces in the past few weeks. National pipelines carrying crude oil for export to international markets are reported to be fairly safe due to increased protection, mainly by local armed groups. Most vulnerable(…)

Iraq’s Province of the orphans

By Salam al-Shammari Azzaman, March 1, 2013 The violence that engulfed the Province of Diyala in the aftermath of the 2003-U.S. invasion has turned it into “a city of the orphans,” according to Governor Umer al-Humeiri. Humeiri made the remarks as he pleaded with the government to give his province preferential treatment in social and(…)

Christian churches and relics ‘not for sale’ in Iraq, says minister

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 28, 2013 Iraq’s Christian legacy is in danger with many of its churches, relics and monuments left unprotected. Scores of churches in Baghdad, Mosul and other towns in central and southern Iraq are without priests or congregations. The country’s Christian population has dwindled to about 200,000 from nearly 1 million(…)

Iraq’s excessive reliance on oil revenues is ‘dangerous,’ warns minister

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 26, 2013 The Planning Ministry says Iraq’s budget is too reliant on oil revenues and any drop in prices will cause “dangers and problems” for the country. The Iraqi parliament is debating 2013 budget, which according to Planning Minister Ali al-Shukri is 93% reliant on revenues from oil sales. But(…)

Iraq diversifying its oil export outlets

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 25, 2013 The Iraqi parliament has authorized the Ministry of Oil to seriously consider diversifying access to oil export outlets in neighboring states. Suzan Aklawi of the parliamentary Oil and Energy Commission said Jordan is emerging as the most suitable outlet. Jordan’s only maritime outlet to the outside world is(…)

Baghdad and Kurdish region solve issue of payment for oil firms

  By Ali al-Mawsawi Azzaman, February 23, 2013 The long-standing conflict over payments to oil firms operating in Iraqi Kurdistan has been solved, according to a senior Iraqi official. Ibrahim al-Jaafari, who heads the pro-government national alliance, announced that the sides “have reached a legal framework to cover the payments due to foreign firms with(…)

Ministry offers 10,000 scholarships to upgrade tertiary level teaching and research

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, February 22, 2013 The Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research has announced 10,000 scholarships for students and university teachers to proceed ahead with studies abroad. The announcement was made by Higher Education Minister Ali al-Adeeb as he bid farewell to the first batch of students on their way to universities(…)

Cheap imports may ‘destroy’ Iraq’s cement industry

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, February 21, 2013 The State Company for Cement Industries says cheap and low-quality imports of cement are making it hard for it to sell its products. The company’s director-general, Nasser Idris, warned that the industry might collapse without immediate state support. Idris did not say where the cement was imported from,(…)

Police seize more ancient relics in southern province

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, February 20, 2013 Iraqi police have seized 13 archaeological pieces in the southern Province of Dhiqar, an Antiquities Department official said. The official, Hakem al-Shammari, said the relics were passed to the Iraq Museum and Iraqi scientists were examining their antiquity and value. “The pieces were stolen from ancient mounds in(…)

Iraqi Christians urge authorities to safeguard relics

By Wail Matti Azzaman, February 18, 2013 Iraqi Christians have asked the authorities to preserve their churches and other monuments as excavations reveal that Christianity was the dominant religion in many parts of the country until the Arab Muslim invasion of the seventh century. Latest digs and earth moving activities to prepare the ground for(…)

Politicizing the fate of minorities in Iraq, Syria and Egypt

By Fatih Abdulsalam U.S.’s media and diplomacy machine are stirring the issue of minorities in the Arab world in an intensive and extensive manner. But there is little sincerity in raising the issue. The fate of minorities in the Arab world is being politicized. For the U.S. the target is not preserving and safeguarding these(…)

Iraq’s wheat harvest exceeded 3 million tons in 2012

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, February 15, 2013 There has been a substantial surge in Iraq’s wheat produce in the years since 2003, when a U.S.-led coalition invaded the country. Wheat harvest had dwindled to an average 1.5 million tons in the years since the invasion, turning the country into a net importer of wheat and(…)

Iraqi forces storm Qaeda camp in Mosul

By Samer Saaid Azzaman, February 14, 2013 A police force has stormed a camp in northern Iraq, where al-Qaeda members had piled weapons, explosives, car bombs and fuel trucks. The camp is located in Jazira, a plateau to the north west of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul. “The camp was administered by al-Qaeda. It(…)

French firm wins $1.5 billion for a railway suspension system in Baghdad

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, February 12, 2013 Iraq has signed a deal with the French firm Alstom for the construction of a suspension trains system in Baghdad. The deal was signed by Baghdad Governor Salah Abdulrazzaq and Alstom representatives in the Iraqi capital. Alstom, a global leader in railways systems, will design the project and(…)

Oil tension mounts between Kurds and Baghdad

By Fareed Hassan Azzaman, February 11, 2013 Tension over oil development and exports are mounting between Kurds in the north and the central government in Baghdad. The tension is no longer economic, according to Arshad al-Salihi of the parliamentary oil and energy commission. “The crisis and the rhetoric accompanying the exploration of oil, work of(…)