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 [...]

Oil majors destroying environment and refusing to employ locals in Iraq

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 14, 2012 As foreign oil majors begin developing some of the world’s richest oil fields in southern Iraq, there have been complaints of the way they are carrying out their obligations. Legislators from the Province of Basra, Iraq’s main oil center, say the majors confiscate agricultural land, lay it waste [...]

Mesopotamian city in danger of erosion

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 12, 2012 The remains of one of ancient Iraq’s most magnificent cities are in danger of erosion and the Antiquities Department says it cannot do nothing to save it due to lack of funds. The city of Nippur, one of Mesopotamia’s most fabulous, was founded more than 7,000 years in [...]

Poverty hits one out of four Iraqis

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, May 11, 2012 Nearly a quarter of Iraqi population lives in poverty at present despite the substantial hike in hard cash earnings emanating from oil exports, government statistics reveal. The statistics, released by the Planning Ministry, show that poverty rate is as high as 23% of Iraq’s total population. The figure [...]

Egypt’s Orascom wins $363 million power contract in Iraq

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, May 10, 2012 The government has approved a $363 million contract with Egypt’s Orascom for the construction of a new power plant in northern Iraq. Orascom Construction Industries has several contracts in the country and is one of few foreign firms which are heavily involved in Iraq’s post-war reconstruction despite security [...]

Iran in $450 million deal to export gas to Iraq via new pipeline

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, May 8, 2012 Iran is to construct a 220-kilometer long pipeline to link its gas-producing fields to Iraq. The pipeline will be constructed by Iranian contractors and will cost $450 million. Under a deal the countries signed early this year, Iran is to export 25 million cubic meters of gas to [...]

Iraq’s Kirkuk’s development budget tops $598 million

By Marwan al-Ani Azzaman, May 7, 2012 Authorities in the oil-rich Province of Kirkuk say they have approved a budget of $598 million, the largest in the province’s history. Kirkuk is a major oil-producing center. It currently produces more than 500 million barrels a day. Under a new scheme, called ‘the petro-dollar,” oil producing provinces [...]