Iran struggles to enhance economic ties with Iraq despite US sanctions



Two days after the Iranian foreign minister passed through Iraq, he decided to encourage Iraqi businessmen to import Iranian products by encouraging them to travel with less obstacles to Iran, a step which probably aims at circumventing the US sanctions imposed on Iran in late 2018.

Iranian Foreign Ministerannounced cancelling visas for “Iraqi traders” travelling to Iran.

During the Iraqi-Iranian economic conference held on Monday, which was attended by more than 100 Iraqi and Iranian businessmen, Zarif said that his country decided to finally remove any obstacles in the face of Iraqi traders.

Work visas to Iranians halted

The number of Iranians working in Iraq has dropped from 20,000 to 5,000 since Baghdad stopped issuing work visas for Iranian citizens, said the Governor General of Kurdistan province in western Iran.

Bahman Moradnia did not elaborate on the reasons behind Iraq’s decision to stop issuing work visas for Iranians, Radio Farda reported earlier in January.

Meanwhile, Moradnia said that the lack of transport infrastructure, including air routes, is the most important hurdle in the way of business and trade between Iran’s Kurdistan and the autonomous Iraqi Kurdistan.

Earlier, the chairman of Iranian parliament’s influential Commission of National Security and Foreign Policy, Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, had cautioned against Iran losing its economic position in Iraq and being replaced by Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Iraq is the second biggest market for Iranian exports and Iran’s ambassador in November had said that trade can reach $22 billion annually in the future.

US sanctions, Pompeo’s messages

Relations between Tehran and Washington are highly fraught after the decision in May by US President Donald Trump to withdraw from a 2015 nuclear deal between Iran and world powers and to reimpose sanctions, including on Iran’s oil sector.

Speaking in Qatar on Sunday, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the aims of the summit will include changing the “behavior” of Iran, which Washington accuses of destabilizing the region and supporting terrorism.

“We will gather around a number of different topics,” Pompeo told reporters in Doha, adding that fighting ISIS is among them, in addition to getting Iran “to behave like a normal nation.”

A few days after Pompeo concluded his recent visit in Iraq, the Economist newspaper revealed that the US seeks to conclude more contracts and oil deals with Iraq.

During the visit, Pompeo stressed the independence of Iraq in the field of energy. His remarks were seen by Iraqi officials as a clear message to stop buying Iranian gas and start contracting with US oil companies to develop gas fields in the country, the Economist said in a report.

Leading US energy companies, such as Chevron, are negotiating directly with the Iraqi Oil Ministry to get huge concession agreements, the report said. Moreover, Exxon Mobil is negotiating to establish deals to increase the volume of oil exports and build a major desalination plant.


Iraq, World Bank mull founding International Credit Fund

The Iraqi Planning Ministry has discussed with thethe mechanisms of founding anin Iraq.

After meeting with Saroj Kumar Jha, Regional Director of the Mashreq Department at the World Bank, and his accompanying delegation, Nouri Sabah al-Duleimi said, “the fund will be in charge of supervising and directing the international grants thatobtained during the Kuwait Conference.”

During the meeting, Duliemi said, “we tackled agreement on a joint plan work to boost cooperation betweenand theto assist the Iraqi government in achieving the reform and diversifying the sources of finance.”

“Our coming priorities will be achieving the economic reform in Iraq through providing the basic services and supporting the private sector,” Duleimi said, adding that the ministry seeks developing the human capital and creating more jobs.

Military sources: US troops roaming extensively in the streets of Anbar



Monday 14 January 2019 05:01 pm

BAGHDAD / Military sources revealed on Monday that US troops were intensively roaming the streets of Anbar province with warplanes loaded with combat soldiers.

The sources told “Iraq Eye News” that “the American military improvisation has intensified its roaming and moving in Anbar during the past few days to be a daily view used by the people of the province.”

The local government in the province of Anbar has confirmed, earlier, the lack of responsibility of the local government or the Council of the province of the entry of US mechanisms to it, because this matter belongs exclusively to the federal government. Finished

The new US deployment in Iraq

15 January 2019

Knight of speech
Knight of speech
An Iraqi writer based in London


 On January 6 US ground troops appeared in the center of Baghdad, in a scene that was completely surprising to Iraqi citizens and the media.  And worse, it was an earthquake expert members of the House of Representatives, political parties under the banner of Iran or others.
What is remarkable is how Iraqi citizens treated a small number of American soldiers, who surrounded them in one of Baghdad’s most busy streets (Mutanabi Street).  While such a movement was something that could only be believed through Hollywood movies.  Those who have been briefed on the images of the (unarmed) US soldiers surrounded by hundreds of Iraqi youth know the vast and irrational difference between the US presence of 2003-2011 and 2019. In the first phase, US troops heavily armed with ground and air defenses were targets of the Iraqi resistance In all its forms, which is now the axioms of the Iraqi day that everyone knows, from children and even the sheikhs, men and women, how the scene turned in 2019 to look the march of a handful of American soldiers in central Baghdad and without a little protection, like a picnic,
There was a media hype about the US soldiers roaming in central Baghdad, led by the deputy commander of US forces, Austin Rinforth, accompanied by the Baghdad Operations Commander of the Iraqi Army Jalil al-Rubaie. This is true, but for this move, on the 98th anniversary of the establishment of the Iraqi army, the signs can not be ignored or misinterpreted. The United States knows, and in detail, all Iran’s moves in Iraq, and knows that it has the upper hand on most of the filesIf not all, which the US president, Donald Trump, may have considered the mistakes of “heinous” US administrations, from the administration of former President George W. Bush to Barack Obama.  Trump is responsible for opening Iraq’s doors to Iran, and only by ensuring two main things in this country: removing Iraq entirely from the Arab-Israeli conflict, continuing and increasing the pumping of Iraqi oil into world markets and American control of the security of its production and export through all available outlets .
With the increasing US targeting of the regime in Tehran during the current Trump presidency, and the presence of Arab and Gulf efforts and support to limit Iran’s military and ideological capabilities, Iraq has become the most important and prominent arena in determining the movement of Iran’s mobile arms freely to this moment in Syria and Lebanon , And of course Iraq.
 “The march of American soldiers in Baghdad, on the 98th anniversary of the establishment of the Iraqi army, indications can not be neglected or misinterpreted”


There have been many American steps, most of which have been completely confidential, aimed at strengthening the US presence in Iraq militarily, politically and economically. As for militarily, Washington has sought to establish the presence of elite forces in bases in several areas in Iraq, on the pretext of helping to expel the terrorist organization calling from the Iraqi cities occupied in 2014, and then under the pretext of preventing the return of the organization to work in these areas, Now, after the people have tasted the scorn of the “da’ash”, and those who came under the pretext of “liberation” from sectarian criminal militias and the Iranian Quds Force, I say that these areas have become a safe haven for American forces, Protect them and prevent their destruction or the forced demographic change of the areas  T live.
Politically, and strikingly, the appointment of Matthew Toller as US ambassador to Baghdad suggests that the time for change in the rules of the game in Iraq has come, as this man is a hawk in the Trump administration who have a special hatred for Iran, and also those who believe, “We have not gone to Iraq, and we have lost thousands of Americans, thousands, and hundreds of billions in order to hand over to Iran.” The role of Toller in the game of power centers in the swing political process in Iraq, which made the issue of file management bear political conflicts, until recently was ruled by a decision of the commander of the Quds Force in the Revolutionary Guards, Qasim Soleimani, or from the Iranian ambassador in Iraq .
Economically, Washington is pressing Tehran hard. To date, Baghdad has been given two opportunities to handle the sanctions imposed on Iran.  The statement by Iraqi Oil Minister Thamer al-Ghadhban on January 12 that negotiations with the visiting Iranian oil minister on the development of joint oilfields have not been successful is evidence of this. The visit of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Zarif, to Baghdad, accompanied by dozens of Iranian businessmen and investors, perhaps this statement clearly indicates Iranian attempts to cling to the Iraqi market as a major consumer of Iranian products.

“Iraqis see US forces as the only force capable of protecting them from genocide or forced demographic change”

The American soldiers in Baghdad toured the Iraqi street, proposed and planned by US Ambassador Matthew Toller, to gauge the Iraqi people’s acceptance of the next US role in their country. The results of this experiment may indicate popular acceptance of this presence. But the US administration must be well aware of the fact that the Iraqis, in general, are not enemies of the American people, and if they did not enter in 2003 invaders and occupiers of their country, they did not behave with them in the same way that made the coffins of their dead extend from Baghdad to Washington. The Americans saw themselves, the peaceful people of this people, their paper and their prestige, when they were not in the defense of their country, and the original scene of January 6 that Iraqis were fed up with Iran, its tools and products and its politicians and all their militias, Wait for an American role to hit them, and relieve them of some of the pressure that has been exercised against them for 15 years, under the eyes of the world and its ears, especially the United States.
The philosophy of US Ambassador Matthew Toller is based on the existence and replacement of Iranian hegemony in Iraq over the “occupation of Iraq”, not through the “border”, as in 2003, but by winning the “hearts”, taking advantage of the strong Iraqi dislike for Iran and its political and security system Economic and sectarian development in Iraq.,15700023,15700124,15700186,15700191,15700201,15700237,15700242,15700248&usg=ALkJrhhxncJLT–LQSZ917rAj9OPHNj4BA

France to lend Iraq 1 billion euros for reconstruction

Journal News

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Laudrian announced that his country had agreed to grant a one-billion-dollar loan to Iraq to contribute to the reconstruction of war-affected areas.

The statement came in the words of Ludran on Monday following the negotiations in Baghdad with his Iraqi counterpart Mohammed al-Hakim, according to the agency “Reuters”.

During his visit to Baghdad, Loudrian held two meetings with Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and Speaker of the House of Representatives Mohamed Halboussi.

Abdel-Mahdi thanked France for the cancellation of debts owed by Iraq through the Paris Club, praising the importance of relations with Paris for Baghdad, and expressed the Iraqi government’s desire to expand cooperation with France.

Abdul Mahdi stressed that “the democratic experience in Iraq is strengthened and achieve progress for the benefit of all citizens,” calling for the construction of “balances that support moderation, middle and civic values.”

For his part, Ludran expressed Paris’ full support for Iraq and its government, stressing that France stands by his side in the reconstruction after his support in defeating “Dahesh.”

“Iraq has become a key player in stability and its policy is based on keeping away from conflicts and preserving its sovereignty and national decision,” he said. “France will go forward with the partnership and cooperation with Iraq and support the Iraqi government, which is leading the country successfully.”

The upcoming visit of French President Emmanuel Makron to Baghdad will be a confirmation of the support and development of friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries, he said.

France pledges € 1 billion for reconstruction of Iraq


_NEWS_DATE: 2019/1/14 22:15 
[Ayna – Baghdad] 
French Foreign Minister Jean-Louis Le Drayan said on Monday that Paris is committed to providing one billion euros ($ 1.15 billion) to Iraq to help rebuild the country after the war it waged with the terrorist.
Lodrian, who met with his Iraqi counterpart, Mohammed al-Hakim in Baghdad, said aid would be aimed at rebuilding the worst-hit areas of Iraq, the Associated Press reported. 
The Iraqi Ministry of Planning estimates the cost of reconstruction at about $ 88 billion, and Iraq managed to raise $ 30 billion at a donor conference in Kuwait last year.

Source reveals the reasons for frequent visits of Arab delegations, regional and Western high to Iraq

 Politics    14.01.2019 18:07  3011    Editor: ms     

Baghdad today – Baghdad

A source familiar with the reasons for the visit of Arab and Western delegations to Iraq, during the last period.

The source said in an exclusive interview to Baghdad today that “Iraq is on the verge of a very large reconstruction campaign, through which the reconstruction of liberated cities,” noting that “visits of high-level Arab and foreign delegations to the country aims to ensure a share of these projects” .

The source, who asked not to be named, said that “Planning Minister Nuri al-Dulaimi met with the head of the reconstruction fund of the areas affected by terrorist operations Mustafa al-Hiti and discussed these projects and agreed to find high coordination at the local, regional and international levels to secure the conditions for launching the upcoming reconstruction campaign” .

The source added that “the projects that will be launched from this year will continue upward until the completion of the reconstruction of liberated cities in 2030,” pointing out that “Arab companies will participate in the implementation of infrastructure projects in liberated cities, while will take over Western destinations, including America, France and Britain as well as Iran to implement projects for electricity and energy production at various levels. ”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Iraq on Wednesday, followed by a visit by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif on Sunday, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Monday, coinciding with French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Loudrian’s visit to Baghdad. , As well as the expected visit of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Iraq.

Important economic decision expected in Iraq


Release date: 2019/1/14 21:21 
(Baghdad: Al Furat News) The Iraqi government intends to restore the investment climate through new facilities to be offered during the coming period to the private sector in the medium and long-term projects, after the relative improvement in the security file in Baghdad and Iraqi cities,
An Iraqi official in Baghdad revealed that the government will provide a package of incentives and facilities to encourage both foreign and domestic investors. The plan aims at easing the pressure on the state in the reconstruction and development file, especially the liberated cities that have been heavily damaged. 
The official, who declined to be named, said that Baghdad aspires to achieve a successful investment model, pointing out that the opening of Turkish Iranian Kuwaiti Jordanian to Iraq in this area more than other countries. 
“It will include a tax exemption for investors, a commitment to provide an appropriate security environment, and guidance to government departments not to delay any transactions related to domestic investors’ business and to foreign investors in particular,” the official said.
This comes in conjunction with the escalation of demands in a number of Iraqi provinces aimed at implementing the law transfer of powers from the federal ministries to local governments in the provinces, in order to get rid of the excess rings and routine in relation to infrastructure projects and the organization of the work of institutions and service departments in the provinces in order to bring investment opportunities to their cities, And provide services to citizens to absorb their anger and frequent living protests.
Last year, parliament passed Law 21, which includes extending the powers of local governments to Iraq’s 18 provinces, including exercising executive power over government institutions without returning to the central government in Baghdad to bypass investment complexities.
The economic researcher Fuad Mohammed said in a press statement that “the transfer of powers to the provinces and disengagement from the center, is an opportunity to develop their cities and increase the demand for capital, especially as the cities of southern Iraq enjoy security stability compared with other cities.” 
“The cities of Basra, Dhi Qar and Maysan have a geographical location that attracts a lot of investment because of the large oil wealth it owns.” 
For his part, said MP from the Parliamentary Services Committee, Burhan Mamouri, in a press statement, “The reality of investment in Iraq in general does not rise to the required level, and will not be available if the government did not pay sufficient attention to security in all Iraqi provinces.” The most prominent demands of Iraqis in the protests in various provinces, which have continued sporadically since the ninth of July last, to provide jobs for the unemployed, and improve the level of services and living.
Al-Mamouri stressed that it is not possible to develop the Iraqi economy and address the financial problems if the country does not go to invest like other countries, to provide work and projects.

The Ministry of Planning issued a recent report, in which it showed that poverty rates rose in the cities occupied by the terrorist advocate to 41%, after not exceeding 20% ​​before that. She pointed out that the poverty rate in the southern provinces amounted to 31.5%, and increased in the central governorates, Baghdad and the Kurdistan region at varying rates. 
For his part, said a member of the Committee on Economy and Investment parliamentary, Salam al-Maliki, in a press statement, “There must be an attractive environment, and provide a security situation and good infrastructure,” stressing that the modernization of legislation is the biggest incentive to reassure the investor.
Maliki pointed out that Basra is one of the finest places that can be exploited in the investment side, because of the ports and oil. It also contains the basics of life, with border areas with three important states, as well as many other important things. 
But he said: “The investor when he comes to these provinces hit a lot of procedures, both red tape and bureaucracy, or on the side of users at the head of power in the provincial councils and administrations, as some of them bargain investor to pay money and bribes in order to end the proceedings. 
He stressed that “all this affected the work of the investor, which caused the loss of many economic opportunities to leave the southern arena and Basra, specifically,” calling on the government to open wider doors through the activation of the investment law, or work to provide channels attractive to capital, Port of Faw transport and construction projects

The Interior Inspectorate returns 27 billion dinars to the state treasury


Journal News

The Interior Ministry’s inspector general’s office recommended the return of more than 27 billion dinars to the state treasury last December, preventing more than one billion dinars from being wasted in the same month.

The monthly report of the Office of the Inspector-General on UNOPS audit activity stated that it was able to return (3,694,118,959) dinars, recommended a return of (23,947,724,023) dinars to another, and prevented from wasting (JD 969,921,200).

The report added: “The Directorate has expressed its opinion during the month in 90 investigative councils and 121 reports of the departments of inspection Baghdad and the provinces.”

The report pointed out that during the month the Directorate inspected 238 transactions within the internal control section. It also inspected 109 contracts within the Ministry’s operational plan, 31 contracts in its investment plan and 3 contracts for the Police Martyrs’ Fund.

Iranian President Hassan Rowhani is scheduled to visit Iran on Tuesday


06:39 – 14/01/2019

Baghdad / 
 Mawazin News Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Azaref announced on Monday details of the upcoming visit of Iranian President Hassan Rowhani to Iraq. 
The official IRNA news agency quoted Zarif as saying that President Rohani’s official visit to Iraq was scheduled for March 11, 2019. 
He said President Rohani would meet with Iraqi officials during his visit to Iraq and discuss ways of developing relations between the two countries. 
“President Rohani intended to meet Iraqi leaders in Baghdad at the first opportunity. Now that the Iraqi parliamentary elections are held and the new government is formed in this country, there will be an opportunity to finalize the results of my visit and the visit of the oil minister to Iraq during President Rohani’s visit, Country “.
Zarif described the results of his visit to Iraq as positive and said he had good and detailed talks with Foreign Minister Mohammad Ali al-Hakim and Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi on bilateral relations and regional issues. 
“Both sides issued a joint statement on the discussions on bilateral relations and regional issues, including the Syrian, Palestinian and Yemeni issues,” he added. 
He said that the Iraqi position is based on good relations with all neighboring countries and that he looks forward to strengthening relations with Iran more and more. ” 
The Foreign Minister expressed the hope that President Rohani’s visit to Iraq will further develop friendly and brotherly relations between the two countries.
Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Jawad Araif arrived in Baghdad on Sunday afternoon at the head of a large political and economic delegation in a four-day visit. 
He is scheduled to visit the cities of Najaf, Karbala, Arbil and Sulaimaniya and attend several economic meetings.