Kurds warn Baghdad amid rising tension over oil exports and revenues

By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, March 17, 2014 Iraqi Kurds have threatened “unspecified measures” if the central government in Baghdad persists in blocking their share of oil revenues. The Kurds theoretically are part of Iraq but they have turned their region, comprising three provinces, into a semi-independent state. Their parliament and government take decisions without recourse(…)

Iraq shuts down power plants due to excess output

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, March 16, 2014 For the first time in more than two decades Iraq says its power output surpasses domestic needs. Electricity output currently exceeds demand prompting the Ministry of Electricity to shut down several power stations, the ministry said in a statement. The statement said Iraqis across the country, barring the(…)

ISIS militants put up tough resistance in Anbar’s provincial capital

Azzaman, March 14, 2014 By Nourideen Hameed Conditions in the restive Province of Anbar are worsening with armed groups holding positions and putting up tough resistance to assaults by government troops. The Province, of which Ramadi is the provincial capital, is the largest in area among the country’s 18 provinces and borders Syria, Jordan and(…)

Power exhibition draws 80 firms

By Israa al-Qaisi Azzaman, March 12, 2014 An electricity exhibition by the Ministry of Electricity has drawn 80 foreign firms from different countries, said the ministry’s adviser Mohammed Jaafar. Jaafar said the firms from a variety countries such as Iran, Turkey, India and Spain among others was inaugurated early this week to make the latest(…)

Government negotiating with armed groups in Falluja

  By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, March 11, 2014 The government is holding talks with at least five armed groups who are currently in control of the strategic town of Falluja, said a senior provincial official in the Province of Anbar. Falluja, which administratively belongs to the Province of Anbar, has been in the grip of(…)

Will Arab Gulf states invade Qatar?

 By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, March 8, 2014 How can we interpret the decision by Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain to withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar? What will Qatar lose even if the three countries severed diplomatic relations and expelled it from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which itself has become a shaky(…)

Parliament will not be allowed to shut down government, says premier

By Abbas al-Baghdadi Azzaman, March 7, 2014 The government will function normally even if the parliament delays passing the budget on schedule, Prime Minister Noor al-Maliki said. Iraqi deputes have been wrangling over 2014 budget and despite repeated sessions they have failed to approve it. Maliki said if the parliamentary speaker Usama al-Nujaifi thought he(…)

Iraqi troops battle ISIS militants in northern Mosul

Azzaman, March 5, 2014 Reports from northern Iraq say that the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) is engaged in heavy fighting with Iraqi troops, particularly in the northern city of Mosul. Iraq has thrown in a full division to dislodge ISIS militants from the city. The commander of Iraq’s 3rd Division, Lt.(…)

The Middle East’s harvest of the past 10 years

By Fatih Abdulsalam March 4, 2014 Every year and sometimes every month or every week, scientists in advanced countries make astounding inventions in all fields of knowledge. Some of the new discoveries have found that the human brain is much more complicated than what scientists had thought. They came to this conclusion after inventing highly(…)

Oil workers in south protest over delay in payment

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, March 3, 2014 Employees of the Southern Oil Company say the Ministry of Oil is denying them their dues related to the their share from the company’s profits. Reports say thousands of workers went to the streets over the weekend in the southern city of Basra demanding immediate payment. Iraqi oil(…)

Iraq’s oil output exceeded 3.5 million barrels per day in February

By Shaymaa Adel Azzamen, March 2, 2014 Iraq produced more than 3.5 million barrels a day in February, said Deputy Prime Minister Husain al-Shahristani. The volume is the largest since late 1970s when the country’s output hovered at 4 million barrels daily. Iraq’s output declined with the start of 1980 war with Iran due to(…)

Hundreds of civilians killed in restive Province of Anbar

By Noorideen Hameed Azzaman, March 1, 2014 Hundreds of people have been killed during fighting with al-Qaeda-linked militants in the restive Province of Anbar west of Baghdad. Heavy clashes mainly in the provincial center of Ramadi and the strategic city of Falluja have been going on for nearly two months since Jihdadists of the Islamic(…)

Iraq denies it signed arms deal with Iran

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, February 27, 2014 Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zeibari has said his country had not signed any deals to import weapons from Iran. He made the remarks in Tehran in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif. Zeibari is on an official visit to Iran and is reported(…)

Thousands of families flee violence in Anbar to Kurdish north

  By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 26, 2014 More than 6,000 families have fled the surge in violence in the Province of Anbar where Iraqi forces are battling the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), said Displacement and Migration Minister Daindar Douski said. Douski said his ministry was providing financial assistance and other(…)

Iraq’s petrochemical industries grind to a halt for lack of fuel

By Tamara Abdulrazzaq Azzaman, February 25, 2014 Iraq’s once flourishing petrochemical industries have come to a grinding halt due to lack of fuel, a statement issued by the State Company for Petrochemical Industries said. The statement, faxed to the newspaper, said the company ceased production shortly after the 2003-U.S. invasion. It only partially resumed operations(…)

Hyundai building $6.5 billion refinery in Iraq’s Karbala

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 23, 2014 South Korea’s Hyundai is to start building a giant refinery in the southern religious city of Karbala capable of refining 140,000 barrels per day, the Oil Ministry said. The ministry’s spokesperson Isam Jihad said representatives from Hyundai and Iraqi authorities will lay down the foundation stone for the(…)

Kurdish region faces ‘financial’ crisis as Baghdad refuses to transfer oil royalties

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, February 22, 2014 The regional government of Iraqi Kurdistan is unable to pay of hundreds of thousands of its staff, said a senior Kurdish official in Baghdad. The official Mahmoud Othman said it was the first in more than a decade the Kurdish authorities find themselves in such a financial crisis.(…)

Arab Sunni tribes rise against al-Qaeda

Azzaman, February 21, 2014 By Salam Abdulshammari Arab Sunni Tribes in the restive Province of Diyala have mobilized their tribesmen to defend their areas against any possible penetration by ISIS, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant. ISIS, which is affiliated to the terror group al-Qaeda, has strengthened positions in the western Province of(…)

Shiite cleric Sadr liaising with Saudi Arabia and Qatar

Azzaman, February 19, 2014 By Ali Latif Falling out with Iran, Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has turned to Sunni Gulf countries for support and financing, an adviser to Prime Minister Noori al-maliki said. The adviser, Sami al-Askari, made the remarks only three days after the surprise decision by the powerful cleric to retire from political(…)

Will Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr reconsider decision to retire?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, February 18, 2014 There are so many interpretations, guesses and innuendos about the decision by Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr to retire from political life in the country. Sadr was so clear in citing reasons for his decision which goes as far as rejection to have representatives in the Iraqi parliament; in(…)