War over oil and wealth in Iraq

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, November 29, 2012 U.S. occupation troops have left the country more than a year ago and the Iraqis thought their departure should improve conditions. In fact that is what almost everybody had expected. But the country is still mired in a deep political crisis that hinges over authority and wealth. It(…)

Italian scientists uncover new graves in Ur

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, November 26, 2012 A team of Italian archaeologists have found seven new graves in the ancient city of Ur, which according to the Bible was the birth place of Abraham. “The graves belong to the Akkadian period and date to 2200 B.C.,” according to the Minister of Tourism and Antiquities Liwa(…)

Iraq adds 250 megawatts to national grid

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, November 25, 2012 Iraq says a newly constructed power plant in the southern Province of Babel is now fully operations, adding 250 megawatts to the national grid. Electricity Ministry spokesperson Musaib al-Mudarisi said the plant includes two generating units each with 125 megawatts and has already been linked to the national(…)

Sweden harassing Iraqi refugees, rights group say

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, November 23, 2012 The Swedish authorities are using coercive and inhumane measures to force Iraqi refugees to leave, an Iraqi human rights group said. “Swedish behavior towards Iraqi refugees is tough and the (Swedish) authorities are using coercive and inhumane methods to compel them to leave the country,” the Iraqi Human(…)

Iraq imports 70% of its consumer needs

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, November 22, 2012 Iraq imports 70% of its needs from foreign countries, especially neighboring states, said the head of the Iraqi Chamber of Commerce Jaafar al-Hamadani. Hamdani did not say how much the imports cost the treasury but they are estimated to devour more than half the country’s oil revenues. Hamadani(…)

Iran to boost Iraq investments to $25 billion

By Ali Shattab Azzaman, November 20, 2012 Iran, facing stringent western sanctions, is expanding its trade ties with neighboring states with Iraq emerging as a top trade partner. Iranian trade delegations are have been touring neighboring states such as Iraq, Turkey, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan and Arab Gulf states. Iranian trade delegations have been touring Iraq,(…)

Is a war between Iraqi government troops and Kurdish militias imminent?

By Akab al-Taher Azzaman, November 19, 2012 The row between the regional government in Iraqi Kurdistan and the central government in Baghdad is worsening. Its solution is in need of courageous and wise steps if a sustainable settlement for the divisive issues is sought. Relations between the two sides must be re-organized and revised. However,(…)

Wars have disabled six million Iraqis

By Saadoun al-Jaberi Azzaman, November 17, 2012 The wars Iraq has gone through in the last three decades have produced a nation of disabled people – six million out of a population of 30 million. “People with disabilities caused by the three wars Iraq has suffered are estimated at more than 6 million,” according to(…)

Gas flaring costs Iraq $5 million a day

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, November 16, 2012 The flaring of associated gas from the country’s producing oil fields, particularly in the southern Province of Basra, costs $5 million a day, according to Dhia al-Mawsawi, the Director-General of Southern Oil Company. Iraq’s three largest producing-fields lie in Basra, where most of the country’s oil output and(…)

Foreign firms win $290 million for two 400-bed hospitals in Iraq

By Adel Kadhem Azzaman, November 15, 2012 Iraq is building two hospitals, 400-beds each, and at a cost of  $290, a statement by the Ministry of Health said. The statement said the ministry has already signed two contracts for the construction of both hospitals, one in the Province of Kirkuk and the other in the(…)

Southern and central provinces to set up their own free-trade zones

By Dalya Ahmad Azzaman, November 13, 2012 The return of normalcy after years of violence to Iraq is luring investors to the region, a senior Finance Ministry official has said. Sabah al-Qaisi, the head of Free-Trade Zones Commission in the country, said there was a surge in requests by foreign companies and entrepreneurs to invest(…)

Iraq to produce 5 million cubic meters of natural gas in five years

By Husain al-Yaaqoubi Azzaman, November 12, 2012 The Oil Ministry has unveiled its 5-year plan for the development of the country’s natural gas riches. The plan calls for the production of five million cubic meters of gas to meet increasing needs for the fuel particularly by power stations and petrochemical industries, said the ministry’s deputy(…)

U.K. to expedite visa processing for Iraqis

By Bassem Hassan The United Kingdom is to open a special visa section in Baghdad to make it easier for Iraqis to get visas, British ambassador in Baghdad Simon Collis was reported as saying. The ambassador made the remarks on a visit to the southern Iraqi Province of Basra, where provincial authorities have expressed their(…)

Who’s playing the Jihadists’ card in Syria?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, November 9, 2012 It has become clear by now that the Jihadists in Syria have become cards in a game that is being played by international actors. The Jihadists in Syria were propelled to limelight as the armed opposition strived to spread its control over villages and districts amid large-scale killings(…)

Iraq urges Iran to invest in both private and public industries

By Khaula al-Ukaili Azzaman, November 8, 2012 Iraq has urged on Iran to increase its investment and participation in the country’s industries, whether private or state owned. The call was made during a meeting at the Ministry of Industry and Minerals in which senior officials and experts from Iran’s Defense Ministry were present. There are(…)

Kuwait agrees to invest Gulf War reparations in Iraq’s south

By Ali Latif Azzaman, November 6, 2012 The Kuwaiti government will not drop claims to 1991 Gulf War reparations from Iraq but has decided to invest the money it receives in southern Iraqi provinces, particularly in Basra. Under 1991 Gulf War U.N. resolutions, Iraq is obliged to pay reparations for countries, companies and individuals harmed(…)

Iraqi government to stop paying Kurdish militias

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, November 5, 2012 The Iraqi government will stop paying members of Kurdish militias known locally as Peshmerga in 2013. The decision comes amid growing differences between the sides and Iraqi government’s pressure to exert some influence on the heavily armed Kurdish militias. The Kurds were surprised and shocked to see that(…)

Political prejudice and not prudence rules Iraq

By Fatih Abdulsalam Prejudice and self-interest have become the main factors in drawing up policies for Iraq and in determining the stands of various political groups on the ground as the country’s crisis deepens. The situation, despite the risks it involves, drags on in the absence of adherence to the constitution, which itself has become(…)

Exxon Mobil’s exit from giant Iraqi oil field not decided yet

Azzaman, November 3, 2012 Exxon Mobil has not yet walked away from its technical service agreement for the southern West Quran-1 oil field, an Oil Ministry official said. The U.S. oil giant was reported to have decided to quit the field, the world’s second largest with reserves estimated at 43 billion barrels of oil. Differences(…)

$4 billion for new refinery in Karbala

By Shaymaa Adel Azzaman, November 1, 2012 The Ministry of Oil has allocated $4 billion for the construction of a new refinery in the southern Province of Karbala. The refinery will take four years to complete and it will be built by Iraqi technicians and engineers under the supervision of a team of international experts.(…)