Iraqi province calls for more oil ‘autonomy’

By Basem al-Rikabi Azzaman, November 19, 2014 Oil producing Iraqi provinces are pressing the government to grant them a say in the royalties generated by oil sales from oil fields in their areas. Iraq’s most prolific oil province is Basra which contributes nearly 90% to the country’s oil export volume. Other southern provinces like Dhiqar [...]

Planes loaded with weapons land at airports under Islamic State control in Iraq

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, November 17, 2014 The Islamic State has been using the airports under its control for the transport of weapons to its militants in both Iraq and Syria, according to Hakim al-Zamili, the head of the Defense Commission at the Iraqi parliament. Zamili said one such plane landed in Baghdad carrying 40 [...]

Iraq’s lost opportunity

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, November 16, 2014 The sacking of scores of top military brass by Prime Minister Haider Abadi cannot be seen but as yet another lost opportunity. The order for the senior military officers to quit among them the army’s chief of staff could not have come at a worse time for the [...]

‘I like him so much,’ says Saudi King when reminded of Iraq’s top Shiite cleric Sistani

Azzaman, November 14, 2014 King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has a high opinion of Iraq’s top Shiite cleric Ayatollah Sistani, according to a statement by Iraq’s President Fuad Masum. Masum, who has just returned from a visit to Saudi Arabia in which he met with King Abdullah, is reported to have opened a new chapter [...]

Iraq seeks Saudi help to join Gulf Cooperation Council

By Nidhal al-Laithi Azzaman, November 12, 2014 Iraq is seeking Saudi help to join the six Arab Gulf states which make up the Gulf Cooperation council. The demand to join the loose political and economic alliance was made during a visit by Iraqi President Fuad Masum to Saudi Arabia. Masum spent two days in the [...]

Iran urged to expand food exports to Iraq

By Khaula al-Ukaili Azzaman, November 11, 2014 Iraq has asked Iran to revitalize trade agreement and increase shipments of food and other essential commodities to the country. The demand was made in a meeting Trade Minister Malas Abdulkareem held with Iran’s ambassador to Baghdad Hassan Danie. The Trade Ministry imports billions of dollars’ worth of [...]

Can Zaibari tackle Iraq’s ‘budget emergency’?

By Fatih Abdulsalam Azzaman, November 10, 2014 Finance Minister Hoshyar Zaibari raised an important issue a few days ago in relation to the budget and government expenditures. He said the government was spending haphazardly in the campaign against Islamic State. The expenditures, he added, have become a burden on the budget which itself suffers from [...]

Shiite cleric Sistani says corruption behind defeat of Iraqi army by Islamic State

Azzaman, November 9, 2014 Iraq’s most senior Shiite cleric has said that corruption in Iraqi army ranks was behind the stunning successes by Islamic State (IS) militants when they marched into Iraq from Syria in June. The accusation was made by a representation of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani as Iraqi troops aided by U.S. and [...]

Iraqi tribes urged to fight Islamic State as air bombing fails to halt its advance

Azzaman, November 8, 2014 Bombing from the air will not defeat Islamic State (IS) militants, Iraqi parliamentary speaker Salim al-Jibouri said. “Air raids will not end the battle in a decisive way,’ Jibouri said. “We have to rely on our own capabilities to decisively settle the battle on the ground.” Jibouri made the remarks during [...]

Iraq should stop France from flying warplanes over its territory

By Tareq Hareb Azzaman, november 2014 The Iraqi government must prevent French warplanes from using the country’s national airspace. France has done nothing for Iraq and its contribution to the war effort against the Islamic State (IS) is merely a show off. The decision to stop French warplanes from flying over Iraqi territory must be [...]