Central bank to vet Iraqi purchases in dollars to stem hard cash smuggling

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, August 6, 2012 Iraq has placed new restrictions on purchases by Iraqi traders of foreign goods in latest bid to bring the flow of billions of dollars abroad every month under control, Central Bank Governor Mudher Saleh said. Saleh said the bank no longer favors cash payments or direct transfers of(…)

Iraq and Turkey on collision course

Azzaman, August 5, 2012 Iraq is not battling internal problems only. With its relations getting sour with Turkey in the north and not on the right course with Saudi Arabia in the south, the country now has its own international headaches to grabble with. One sometimes wonders whether the U.S., which invaded Iraq in 2003,(…)

Specter of war looms in Iraq

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, August 4, 2012 Is there a mediating power capable of solving the current crisis between Baghdad and the Kurdish region before it transforms into full-scale war? Constitutionally, the sides can get no recourse. The constitution has been embalmed and rendered powerless after years of violations that hard turned it into corpse.(…)

Iraq wants to solve issues related to joint oil fields with neighboring states

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, August 1, 2011 Iraq is striving to finalize agreements with neighboring states in relations to oil fields it shares with them, the Oil Ministry says. Asem Jihad, the ministry’s official spokesperson, said Iraq was keen to get its fair share of the development of these fields, though its neighbors have been(…)

Iran told to return stolen Iraqi antiquities

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, July Iraq has urged Iran to return Iraqi relics it has seized in accordance with agreements between the countries. The request was made by Tourism and Antiquities Minister Liwa Sarsam who is currently on a visit to Iran to boost cultural ties and reactivate past agreements. “We have asked the Iranian(…)

Iraq allocates $450 million to reduce unemployment currently at 23%

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, July 30, 2012 The Ministry of Planning has earmarked $450 million as part of efforts to combat poverty and unemployment in the country, the ministry spokesperson said. The spokesperson Abdulzahra  al-Hindawi said both unemployed and below poverty rates were extremely high in Iraq. Citing new statistics, he said, unemployment was estimated(…)

Iraq’s power supply still way below domestic demand

By Basem al-Rikabi At least $37 billion have been earmarked to revamp the country’s national grid since the 2003-U.S. invasion but Iraqis still suffer from outages that may continue up to 20 hours a day in some areas. Power shortages come as the whole country is smoldering in temperatures which have gone beyond 55 degrees(…)

Iraq rehabilitates bombed church in Baghdad

By Nishoor Ali Azzaman, July 28, 2012 Iraqi authorities have almost finished the rehabilitation of the Lady of Salvation Church in Baghdad whose bombing, blamed on al-Qaeda operatives, killed 58 people and inflicted heavy damage on the building. The 2010 attack on the church was described as a massacre as gunmen held worshippers hostage and(…)

What went wrong with Bashar al-Assad?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, July 27, 2012 Reports on fighting in Damascus, the Syrian capital, point to a systematic procedure government troops have been pursuing once entering an area that has been captured by the rebel Free Syrian Arm The reports say that Syrian troops enter houses, pick up a few young men and after(…)

Iraq has spent $37 billion on electricity since 2003

Azzaman, July 26, 2012 Allocations to revamp the country’s rickety power sector have reached $37 billion since the 2003-U.S. invasion, the Electricity Ministry has revealed. The revelation came in a statement the ministry has faxed to Azzaman in response to public pressure and press reports criticizing the current state of power supplies as most parts(…)

Iraqi Kurds seeking economic partnership with Iran

By Dalya Ahmed Azzaman, July 24, 2012 The semi-independent region of Iraqi Kurdistan is looking forward to some form of economic partnership with Iran, according to a senior Kurdish official. Burham Saleh, a Kurdish leader and the former prime minister of the Kurdish regional government, said it was vital for the Kurdish region and neighboring(…)

Southern province to turn into major oil producer in Iraq

  By Majid al-Baldawi Azzaman, July 23, 2012 The southern Province of Missan, among the most impoverished in Iraq’s 18 provinces, is to produce half a million barrels of oil in three years, said Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani. The remarks by Shahristani, who oversees the country’s energy sector, were made as he inaugurated the(…)

Iraqi refugees in Syria blame Syrian rebels for their plight

By Sarri al-Rawi Azzaman, July 21, 2012 Iraqi refugees in Syria say Syrian rebels have been targeting them on sectarian grounds as conditions in Syria are worsening by every passing day. Thousands of Iraqis have returned home and there are reports of at least 23 Iraqi refugees killed since the latest bout of fighting in(…)

How to explain what is happening in Syria

By Fatih Abdusalam Azzaman, July 20, 2012 The latest developments in Syria might have come as a shock to many observers, particularly the explosion that claimed the lives of three of the most senior of the country’s military and security officials among them the defense minister Despite the incredible magnitude and impact of the recent(…)

Iraqi plans to circumvent closure of the Strait of Hormuz

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, July 19, 2012 Iraq is better positioned than other oil-rich Gulf states to quickly compensate for the loss in oil exports in case hostilities in the region lead to the closure of the Strait of Hormuz, an Iraqi oil expert said. Haleem Kadhem, who for long has been consulting the Oil(…)

Ministry to build $242 million housing complex for employees

By Nishoor Ali Azzaman, July 17, 2012 The Ministry of Science and Technology has signed a contract with a foreign firm for the construction of 2700 new houses for its employees, according to the minister Abdulkareem al-Samarraai The complex is one of numerous housing activities by various Iraqi ministries to build new homes for their(…)

Marked drop in foreign pilgrims to Iraqi shrines

By Mohammed Taher Azzaman, July 15, 2012 The raging violence in Syria and rising tensions over Iran’s nuclear program have led to a substantial drop in the numbers of foreign pilgrims paying homage to Muslim Shiite shrines in Iraq, a senior Tourism and Antiquities Ministry official said. The official, in charge of the ministry’s branch(…)

The Iranian role in Syria’s crisis

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, July 14, 2012 Delegates from the Syrian opposition are flocking these days to Moscow, whether those willing to deal with the government in Damascus or those rejecting talking to it. There is no doubt that Moscow holds the key for any solution with international backing regarding the Syria crisis and the(…)

Iraqi scenario in the event of Iran closing the Strait of Hormuz

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, July 12, 2012 Iraq is calculating its losses if Iran carries out its threats of closing the Strait of Hormuz through which most of the country’s oil exports pass. While Iraqi officials and analysts see the closure of the strait as highly unlikely, the government says it is wise to have(…)

Libyan election results ‘boomerang’ in Syria

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, July 11, 2012 The victory of the liberal alliance in the first free and democratic elections in Libya are bound to reflect positively on the situation in Syria. The results will probably change convictions of many countries concerning their fears over Syria’s future as it has emerged that Islamist parties are(…)