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 [...]