Al-Kazemi prepares for the start of the major battle with the corrupt

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BAGHDAD – Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi has formed a special committee to investigate corruption files and major cases, directing to grant it exceptional powers, in the first indication of the prime minister’s intention to confront the big whales in his country.

Given the composition of the new committee, and the security authority that will carry out the tasks of chasing and arresting the corrupt, it seems that there is a real intention to target figures who may be from the first row.

Al-Kazemi assigned the human rights team, Ahmed Taha Hashem, who had previously served in high-ranking intelligence sites within the Ministry of Interior, to head the Special Investigations Committee. He is supported by a senior official in the intelligence service, provided that the Counter-Terrorism Service, led by General Abdel Wahhab Al-Saadi, who is popular after the defeat of ISIS, will take over the task of implementing judicial arrest warrants against wanted corrupt individuals, if issued.

Al-Kazemi strengthened the committee with representatives of other oversight and security agencies, while supporting it with a large number of employees.

According to the order that bore the signature of Al-Kazemi, the Special Investigation Committee has the right to summon any Iraqi to give his testimony, except for those who were actually accused in a fundamental way in a case that falls within the powers of this committee, as these are treated through the judiciary.

According to interpretations of experts in law and procedural issues, this committee can summon all former heads of the republic, government and parliament, along with all ministers, officials, employees, politicians, merchants and businessmen, who are not officially accused of corruption cases.

The committee also has the right to open any closed corruption file against any person, and to investigate former defendants who were acquitted, convicted, or are still under review, provided that judicial orders are issued to do so, to prevent interfering investigations.

The news of the announcement of the formation of this committee, especially its composition, sparked an enthusiastic reaction on social networking sites, where many bloggers saw that the actual war on the corrupt in Iraq had already begun.

General Al-Saadi, the commander of the US-armed counterterrorism service, is one of the main opponents of the pro-Iranian militias and politicians close to Tehran, and observers see his assignment of this type of mission as an indication of the approaching confrontation.

Professor of Political Science at Baghdad University Ihssan Al-Shammari believes that “mandating the Counter-Terrorism Service to implement decisions related to corruption cases is an indication of armed friction with leaders and mafias of corruption.”

Observers place this development in the context of urging the countries of the region and the world to urge Iraq to confront the militias loyal to Iran and to put an end to its dominance over the country’s political, security and economic decisions.

Political analyst Ahmed Al-Abyadh says that the zero hour seems to have approached a lot in Iraq, pointing to the link between these developments and the visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Iraq.

Al-Abyadh added that the visit of the French President can be translated as “a mediator to convey the final warning to the militias.”

“Now the difficult test for Al-Kazemi’s seriousness has begun to impose the prestige of the state,” he explained.

Al-Kazemi’s government previously had contact with former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, through one of his in-laws, when it issued a decision to freeze his properties after he exploited state property in an unorthodox manner.

Al-Maliki is among the most prominent targets that the angry Iraqi street demands to pursue, for causing a third of the country’s lands to fall at the hands of ISIS militants in the last year of his eight years of rule, in addition to his responsibility for the theft and squandering of about a thousand billion dollars between 2006 and 2014.

However, Al-Kazemi’s efforts in pursuing senior corrupt individuals are surrounded by many doubts, given the political immunity they enjoy, and most of them close ties to Tehran, which is able to move its armed militias inside Iraq to confuse the situation.

Therefore, observers suspend their expectations regarding the seriousness of any legal campaign to prosecute the corrupt to the extent of the readiness of the Iraqi armed forces for a direct confrontation with the Iranian militias that protect them, which could reveal in the next few months.


الكاظمي يجهّز لانطلاق المعركة الكبرى مع الفاسدين


Mr. Sadr comments on Al-Kazemi’s performance

Editing date: 4/9/2020 11:07 

Mr. Sadr comments on Al-Kazemi's performance

(Baghdad: Ayna News) Ayatollah Sayed Hussein Ismail al-Sadr commented on the performance of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and his management of the state.
This came during his reception in his office in the holy city of Al-Kadhimiya in Baghdad, National Security Adviser Qassem Al-Araji yesterday,

and a statement by Al-Araji’s office stated that Mr. Hussein Al-Sadr confirmed during the meeting, that “the method of true tolerance and love is the curriculum of Al-Bayt (peace be upon them) and that their school is a school for all.”

Speaking about the government’s performance, Mr. Hussein Al-Sadr pointed out that Al-Kazemi “has proven his competence in an atmosphere in which Al-Siddiq is diminished,” expressing his “happiness at the presence of Al-Araji in the administration of the state, indicating that his position at the head of the National Security Adviser is of great importance and position to him.”

Mr. Hussein Al-Sadr concluded his speech by saying, “The ruler or the official must be the father of all, praising the performance, treatment and respect of Al-Araji for all when he was Minister of Interior.”

For his part, Al-Araji thanked Mr. Hussein Al-Sadr, wishing him continued safety and wellness.

On the other hand, Al-Araji met, within his visit to the holy city of Kadhimiya, Mr. Hussein Muhammad Hadi Al-Sadr, who welcomed Al-Araji and expressed his happiness to meet him and his sincere wishes for success in his duties in the National Security Adviser.

Are Erbil-Baghdad tensions easing?

7 hours ago

Zhelwan Z. Wali

Zhelwan Z. Wali

French President Emmanuel Macron killed two birds with one stone on Wednesday; assuring Iraqi and Kurdish leaders of French support for Iraqi sovereignty while also paving the way for Erbil and Baghdad leaders to sit down together to help solve their long-standing oil and budget disputes.

Macron’s one-day visit following his trip to Lebanon made him the most senior foreign official to travel to Iraq since Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi ascended to power in May.

In Baghdad to meet with Macron, Nechirvan Barzani, in his third visit to the capital since assuming the post of the president in June 2019, covered a lot of ground, sitting down for a host of meetings with Iraqi leaders to discuss a range of issues. It was a productive day and such meetings have been described as a “win-win” strategy by political scientists, who believe Baghdad may be reassessing how it deals with Erbil.

President Barzani met with Iraqi President Barham Salih, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, Speaker of the Iraqi Parliament Mohammed al-Halbousi and Ammar al-Hakim, the leader of the National Wisdom (Al-Hikma) Movement. In all these meetings they discussed that for all unresolved issues, Erbil and Baghdad should resort to the constitution.

“Fundamentally, there seems to be recognition that cooperation between Erbil and Baghdad is essential in Baghdad’s bid to strengthen the internal sovereignty of Iraq,” Nigel Mark Greaves, an associate professor from the Department of Politics and International Relations at the University of Kurdistan – Hewler, told Rudaw English via email on Thursday.

 “Indeed, the ‘mood music’ coming from Baghdad appears to be changing rapidly.  There is much greater willingness in Baghdad to work with the Kurdish Region to address issues, which are actually of mutual concern.”

“Baghdad alone is most unlikely to reach its goals of creating peace and stability in the country.  If I am right, it has taken Baghdad some time to reach this conclusion, but the indications are that it is now accepting that the stand-off with Kurdistan cannot continue, at the least for good security and indeed economic reasons,” Greaves added.

“Depending on how it is now played, there is a game-theoretical potential ‘win-win’ for both Baghdad and the Kurdish Region in this and further cooperation in the future” he said.

President Barzani’s visit also came just over a week after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that he had urged the Iraqi federal government to “clinch a budget deal” with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). 

Pompeo’s comment followed KRG Prime Minister Masrour Barzani and Kadhimi’s announcement earlier this month that they had reached a temporary deal, in which Baghdad will send 320 billion dinars ($270 million) monthly to Erbil for the KRG to pay its civil servants. 

The KRG’s share of the Iraqi federal budget is a chronic point of contention between Erbil and Baghdad. The Kurdistan Region is heavily dependent on its share of the Iraqi budget, and Kurdish officials have said they cannot pay civil servants without what it says is its fair share of federal government money. 

Erbil says it is entitled to its 12.67% share of federal funds, as stipulated by Iraq’s 2019 budget law, while Baghdad says the KRG has not lived up to its end of the deal that includes turning over 250,000 barrels of oil daily to Iraq’s State Organization for the Marketing of Oil (SOMO), a state-owned oil company. 

Before the August agreement, Baghdad had not sent funds since April, leaving KRG civil servants unpaid for months and public anger rising. 

Demonstrations and strikes calling on the KRG’s current cabinet to resign occurred several times in Sulaimani province, while protests by teachers in May over delayed pay in Duhok were shut down.

“Baghdad must understand firstly that it cannot continue to use the budget as a weapon in which to threaten the Kurds, and thus to attempt to exert dictatorial control over the Kurdish Region,”  Greaves added.

Also discussed were Iraq’s upcoming snap elections, the fight against Islamic State (ISIS), the latest political and security developments in Iraq, the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the economy of the country, and the situation of IDPs in camps across the Kurdistan Region and efforts to facilitate their return home.

Dr. Hemin Hussein Mirkhan, a lecturer in the department of Business and Management at UKH says President Barzani’s “tremendous respect” that he enjoys among Iraqi leaders will be helpful for a total normalization of Erbil-Baghdad relations that have partly been strained since the events of October 2017, which saw relations spiral as a result of the Kurdistan Region’s independence referendum. 

“The implications post-referendum [have] proven the fact that dialogue is the only option…for both Erbil and Baghdad. These kinds of meetings are vital for a positive political development. The mutual support of Barzani and Kadhimi is a win-win strategy for both sides: protecting the sovereignty of Iraq through a strong KRG,” Mirkhan said via email.

“The Kurdistan President tries to normalize the relations with Baghdad through supporting the current PM [Kadhimi],” Mirkhan added. “The goal is to avert any attempts to undermine the KRG as a legal and political entity and to alleviate the misunderstanding[s] between the two parties.”

“I am optimistic that Iraq federal government and the KRG have a good intention to reach a common ground and solve their outstanding issues,” Mirkhan added.  

President Barzani’s visit to Baghdad has received praise from other sides for being successful. 

Saadi Ahmed Pira, a member of the  Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) politburo, told Rudaw on Thursday that “all the diplomatic activities that we as Kurds had in Baghdad [Wednesday] have rarely been seen in the past.”

Zubir R. Ahmed, a Rudaw Kurdish columnist and lecturer at Salahaddin University-Erbil echoed the sentiment that “Macron’s visit was also an attempt to bring Erbil and Baghdad closer to each other.” 
President Barzani in Ankara

Turkey is an important trade partner for the Kurdistan Region and Erbil enjoys good relations with Ankara. This summer, however, there is a lot of public anger among Kurds because of Turkey’s military incursion against the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) within Kurdistan Region borders, which has killed eight civilians. 

Just two days after his visit to Baghdad, the Kurdish president traveled to Ankara on an official invitation from Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, where he also met with Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, mainly discussing Erbil-Ankara relations and recent regional developments.

Turkey has pursued the PKK in the Kurdistan Region for decades, but its campaign this summer is pushing into populated areas, just kilometers away from major urban centres. Scores of villages have been emptied in the offensive.  

Baghdad and Erbil have both condemned Turkey’s violation of Iraq’s sovereignty and have also called on the PKK to cease its activities.

Safin Dizayee, head of the KRG Department of Foreign Relations (DFR) who accompanied Barzani on his trip to Ankara, told Rudaw that Barzani’s visits to Baghdad and Ankara demonstrate “the Kurdistan Region’s strong political position”.

“The meetings are of high importance. They demonstrate the strong position of the Kurdistan Region in protecting the political balances of the region. The Kurdistan Region has demonstrated it embodies the role of a player across the equations.”

Urgent Announcing the zero hour for a military operation in Basra .. these are its details and objectives

Announcing the zero hour for a military operation in Basra .. these are its details and objectives

  {Baghdad: Al Furat News} The commander of Basra operations, Major General Akram Saddam, revealed that a military operation had been launched in the governorate at dawn on Saturday, with the participation of various security forces, stressing that there was no curfew, except for internal cuts in the regions, while allowing citizens to go shopping and the sixth preparatory students, as well as sick cases.

Saddam said in a press interview, “The operation will start under the supervision of the operation leadership on Saturday at five in the morning after all preparations have been completed, and the operation has no extended time (in general). Rather, it will continue until the disbanded clans are disarmed, and not all the weapons or bidding on the weapons of the Basra people who are fighting terrorism and struggling. For the sake of Iraq, “noting that” the current problems are represented by tribal conflicts, organized crime, assassinations, unruly gangs and drugs. The security operation is not a secret because we are not dealing with an enemy, but rather we are dealing with our people in Basra, and the aim of the operation is to protect the people of the province. “
He pointed out that “the operation is in all areas of the province, but there is privacy .. For example, the districts of Al-Faw, Abu Al-Khasib and Al-Zubayr are witnessing security stability, which is something that is counted for its people, as well as northern Basra where stability, but there are some inherited tribal problems.”
The operations commander warned about the details of the operation, that “every house has the right to keep a piece of weapon (a rifle or a pistol), but anything more than that is not allowed.” Sixth students on the exam card, in addition to shopping for people, citizens’ lives and sick cases, but the issue of entry into the area by people will be subject to security checks according to a database prepared by the units in charge of duty.
He added that “the process will continue for five days, after which an analytical conference on leadership will be held for all participating forces.”
Saddam stated that “all the units are from inside Basra exclusively. The Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, upon his last visit to Basra, and the military commanders asked me whether I needed to send military units?” I answered them that the existing units are sufficient.
He warned that “the units that carry out the military operation are: the 36th Armored Brigade and the Commando Brigade affiliated with the Operations Command as well as the governorate police emergency regiments, the Border Forces Command / Fourth District with two brigades, and the Naval Forces Command in its infantry brigade, while the role of nationality, traffic and rescue within the city has acted.” .
“Only intelligence detachments from the Popular Mobilization Forces will participate in the operation to identify people belonging to the honorable resistance factions, adding that the PMF units are present in the governorate, but the rest of the security services currently in place are sufficient.”
Ammar Al-Masoudi

The Presidency of Kurdistan Region discloses the content of the meeting between Barzani and Erdogan

Kurdistan Region



2020-09-04 10:57

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Shafaq News / On Friday afternoon, Nechirvan Barzani, President of Kurdistan Region, met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

A statement issued by the region’s presidency received by Shafaq News stated that during the meeting, the two sides ’desire to develop relations between the Kurdistan Region and Turkey was emphasized, especially with regard to the issue of expansion and raising the level of trade exchange and joint economic cooperation, as well as the Turkish employment and investment opportunities in The different sector in the Kurdistan Region.


Iraqi Finance Minister to Iran soon to implement Al-Kazemi agreements with Tehran




2020-09-04 10:55

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Shafaq News / The Iranian ambassador in Baghdad, Iraj Masjedi announced on Friday that the Iraqi Finance Minister, Ali Abdul-Amir Allawi, will visit Tehran .

The official Iranian News Agency “IRNA” said that Masjedi met today with the Iraqi Finance Minister and discussed with him the results of the recent visit of Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi and the accompanying delegation to Tehran and the bilateral agreements resulting from the visit.

The statement added that my mosque stressed the necessity of finalizing it and moving forward to bring it into effect .

Last July, Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi, accompanied by a high-ranking delegation, visited the capital, Tehran, during which he met with President Hassan Rouhani, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, and a group of Iranian officials.

Parliamentary Finance issues a statement on the economic and financial reform paper

Time: 09/04/2020 12:53:30

{Baghdad: Al Furat News} The Parliamentary Finance Committee issued a statement regarding the economic and financial reform paper.

A statement by the committee stated that the Euphrates News Agency received a copy of it, “While we are waiting for the government to present the economic and financial reform paper to the House of Representatives, as stipulated in the domestic and foreign borrowing law, which has not yet been submitted, despite the passage of the time period specified by it.” The law, which is 60 days from the date of its approval, and we also did not see its signs, neither in words nor in action. Rather, the government ignored all the reform texts contained in that law.

He added, “We are surprised by decisions and appointments in sensitive and extremely important centers in the Ministry of Finance and other relevant institutions that are not in the public interest, as most of those orders were issued against them, all of which are annotated with the phrase” based on the book of the Prime Minister’s Office} whose history is tainted. The job is a lot of suspicions and failure, and this will negatively affect any real intention or step for reform, and it will cast a shadow over a decline greater than it is now in the financial and economic file. ”

The Parliamentary Finance affirmed, “In terms of the legal and moral responsibility entrusted to us as a supervisory and legislative body, we will have a firm and strict position as a result of those measures that adopted the mood and favoritism in their approval by the government and the Ministry of Finance, which unfortunately we did not see any cooperation or consultation with the authority from them.” Legislative Council of Representatives in general and the Finance Committee in particular during the previous period of the life of the current government.

Ammar Al-Masoudi

Barzani’s meeting with Erdogan begins

Kurdistan Region




2020-09-04 06:58

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Shafaq News / The President of Kurdistan Region, Nechirvan Barzani met on Friday with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

A source in the region’s presidency said that Barzani and Erdogan will discuss during their meeting the bilateral relations between the Kurdistan Region and Iraq with Turkey.

Barzani arrived this morning in Ankara to hold talks with Turkish officials, led by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Barzani began his visit to Ankara with a meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, in which they discussed a number of files.

Al-Kazemi pledges to Nechirvan Barzani to release financial dues for a class in the Kurdistan Region

Kurdistan Region

Kurdistan Region

Nechirvan Barzani

Peasants’ dues


2020-09-04 06:55

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Shafaq News / The Agriculture and Water Committee in the Parliament of Kurdistan Region announced on Friday that Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kazemi pledged to the President of the region, Nechirvan Barzani, to pay the financial dues to the farmers of Kurdistan for the years (2014-2016).

The deputy head of the committee, Shawan Zarari, said in a statement received by Shafaq News, that “the day before the visit of the President of the Kurdistan Region to Baghdad, we asked him to include the farmers’ dues within his visit work program for meeting senior Iraqi officials, and that this issue be discussed in full and in detail.”

He explained that “the regional president’s office contacted him and informed him that Nechirvan Barzani discussed with Mustafa Al-Kazemi the financial dues of farmers for the years 2014-2015-2016,” noting that “the prime minister pledged to find a complete solution to the farmers’ financial dues within a short period.”