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.(…)

Iraqis enjoy almost continuous power supply after years of blackouts

By Khayoun Saleh Azzaman, October 31, 2012 For the first time since the 2003-U.S. invasion, Iraqis had a short respite from power shortages amid reports that an end to blackouts is soon to come. Over the Muslim Eid of al-Adha, during which consumption of power soars, the more than six million people of Baghdad enjoyed(…)

Secretive Iraqi minority bears brunt of sectarian violence

Azzaman, October 29, 2012 You are unwanted in Iraq if you belong to a minority. But one could even be cursed if they were part of a secretive community like Shabaks. The Shabaks are ethnically and religiously abhorred by other communities and they have been target not only of anger but persecution of the powerful(…)

Iraqi police storm Central Bank; arrest 36 officials

By Sabah al-Khalidi The Interior Ministry says its forces have stormed Central Bank building in Baghdad and arrested 36 officials on suspicion of corruption. “A security force belonging to the ministry implemented an arrest warrant issued by the judicial council against a numerous officials of the Central Bank without any problem,” the ministry said in(…)

Syrian Kurds receive military training in Kurdish region

By Khaula al-Ukaili Azzaman, October 23, 2012 Iraqi Kurds have provided military training to Syrian Kurdish rebels in the months since the start of the Syrian rebellion in March 2011, according to a senior Iraqi Kurdish official. The official, Mohammed Othman, claimed the training covered the Syrian Kurds who had left their areas and sought(…)

Scores of antiquities seized; smugglers arrested

By Basem al-Rilabi Azzaman, October 22, 2012 Iraqi police have confiscated scores of artifacts and arrested two smugglers in the southern Province of Dhiqar. The pieces include statues and coins from different periods of Iraq’s ancient history. “Interior Ministry forces in coordination with the Iraqi army seized 64 archaeological pieces as well as 114 bronze(…)

Sharp drop in number of Iranian pilgrims visiting Iraq

By Mohammed Dhaher Azzaman, October 21, 2012 Western sanctions on Iran are having adverse impact on Iraq’s economy, according to Tareq al-Khaikani, the head of the economic commission for the southern Province of Karbala. Khaikani’s remarks are the first admission that the sanctions bite into Iraq’s economy. He was particularly referring to religious tourism, the(…)

‘Daydreaming’ about peace in Syria

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, October 18, 2012 Everybody yearns for peace in Syria. But peace cannot be achieve through prayers by the Pope, the pleading of an Imam or the wishes of a politician. A ruinous war is going and it seems it is difficult to imagine peace without score-settling. The destruction and casualties are(…)

More perks for Iraqi university faculty

By Adel Jaber Azzaman, October 17, 2012 The government has increased benefits and perks of university faculties to make them comparable to neighboring states. In light of the new regulations, university faculty with academic titles of professor or assistant professor are entitled to keep their positions five years after the official retirement age of 65.(…)

Saudi Arabia sending money to its detainees in Iraq

Azzaman, October 16, 2012 The Saudi authorities, in coordination with the Iraqi government, are sending money to their detainees in Iraq, a Saudi envoy said. The envoy Hamad al-Hajiri said there were 66 Saudi citizens in Iraqi jails. Six of them have been sentenced to death on charges of terrorism. However, none has been executed(…)

Commission orders arrest of Iraqi Central Bank Governor on corruption charges

By Kareem Abedzair Azzaman, October 15, 2012 In a surprise move, the Commission of Integrity has ordered the arrest of Central Bank Governor Sinan al-Shabibi, his deputy Mudher Aref and 15 other officials, the Central Bank has revealed. The commission says the arrest orders come following its investigations which have shown that the governor, his(…)

Iraq relying more and more on foreign medical doctors

By Ali Al-Fiyadh Azzaman, October 14, 2012 Iraq, a country which used to export medical personnel to other states, is relying more and more on foreign doctors. The health system, despite massive allocations, has still not recovered and in certain specializations and consultancies there are not enough Iraqi medical specialists to support the system. Prior(…)