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Drones to Protect Iraqi Oil Infrastructure

Drones to Protect Iraqi Oil Infrastructure

By Patrick M Schmidt.

During a tour of Rumaila oil field, the Iraqi Minister of Oil, Abdul Kareem al-Luaibi [Elaibi] , announced that two unmanned drones would begin flying over the vital oil infrastructure in the south of Iraq.

His announcement marks the first time that drones have been used to protect energy interests.

The south of Iraq contains some of Iraq’s most important oil fields that contribute to the majority of Iraq’s overall exports.

(Source: Alalam)

Posted in Oil & Gas, Security0 Comments

Iraqi Crisis Highlights Need for Dialogue

Iraqi Crisis Highlights Need for Dialogue

By Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

After 10 years of difficulty in managing political and security crises, Iraq is in need of a new vision for the concept of political dialogue.

The management of dialogue is not only carried out through official outlets, and it is surely not healthy to manage it through media outlets. The state has, in fact, the capacity to manage a dialogue even with its enemies.

This is not just a mere political rule but is the reasoning used in crises and even wars, and the reasoning for political relations at various levels.

Maybe it should be explicitly said that the Iraqi political establishment has failed to produce strong traditions capable of opening channels for dialogue outside the political and media crossfire. Thus, messages between political opponents in Iraq have always been made public through media outlets rather than official channels.

Given the dangerous security situation in Iraq — with the presence of dozens of armed forces and militias and in light of a social and economic environment prone to accept violence — it is imperative to always have undeclared communication channels outside the framework of the ongoing confrontations.

During the seven months of violence in Anbar and the protests that broke out in Sunni cities a year earlier, not to mention the many years during which various armed groups emerged while others disintegrated, the Iraqi state was very distant from this milieu and did not interfere.

This paved the way for violence and led to the announcement of the Islamic State (IS, formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS), allowing it and other extremist organizations to become entrenched in Iraqi territories.

Posted in Security0 Comments

Najaf, Qom take Different Approaches in Iraq

Najaf, Qom take Different Approaches in Iraq

By Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Najaf and Qom have taken two different approaches in dealing with general political affairs in Shiite communities since the introduction of the idea of ​​velayat-e faqih. Although this idea was put forward for the first time in Najaf by the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, it has not been welcomed by the Shiite hawza (seminary).

Finally, Khomeini managed to attain his wish to implement velayat-e faqih on the ground after the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, which made this idea widely popular within the Iranian seminary of Qom.

The period after 2003 was a great challenge for both Najaf and Qom, during which competition emerged between them on how to deal with the political affairs of Iraq. Qom tended to implement its religio-political vision in Iran on the situation in Iraq, while Najaf had a different perspective over the situation in Iraq — which has a wider religious and ethnic diversity than that of Iran — therefore considering it impossible to have a narrow Shiite perspective over Iraq.

Najaf thus opted for dealing positively with the change by building an inclusive civil state in Iraq that does not only take into consideration the Shiite majority. On the other hand, Qom only saw in Iraq an American threat to Iran’s interests on the one hand and the Shiite majority on the other. According to it, the American threat must be eliminated and the Shiite authority must be in control.

The difference also appeared during the recent Iraqi crisis. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani contented himself with issuing a fatwa urging the support of the army in all of its religious and ethnic components against terrorists, while at the same time repeatedly emphasizing the need to completely ban militias and unofficial armed groups. He never mentioned the word Shiites, or anything else related to Shiism, in his statements and in the declarations made by his office and spokesman.

He was very careful when confirming the need to protect the holy places since he did not mention any specific description portraying these sanctuaries as Shiite shrines. His statements were broad and mentioned Christian and Yazidi temples and others in the areas falling under the control of the Islamic State (IS) — formerly known as the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). Meanwhile, Qom authorities focused their attention on the subject of Shiites and the expansion of Shiism in Iraq. Their statements and denouncements made toward the various parties in this crisis were based on this sectarian ideological perspective.

Posted in Security0 Comments

General Dynamics Wins $65m Iraq Order

General Dynamics Wins $65m Iraq Order

By John Lee.

General Dynamics Land Systems has been awarded a $65-million (76-billion Iraqi dinars) modification to its foreign military sales contract for specialized training, contractor logistics support, and base life support for the Iraq M1A1 Abrams program.

Funding and work location will be determined with each order.

Estimated completion date is Feb. 28, 2015..

(Source: US Defense Dept)

(Picture: Abrams M1A1 tank)

Posted in Security0 Comments

Suaad Allami, a Vital Voice of Leadership for Iraq

Suaad Allami, a Vital Voice of Leadership for Iraq

By Madeleine White, Managing Editor of NINA.

Suaad Allami, a Vital Voice of Leadership for Iraq and an Inspiration for Women Everywhere

It is interesting when you interview people. Sometimes you get to meet them physically, sometimes you get to speak by skype or by phone, other times answers are returned by Email. Each interview leaves an imprint of some kind.

As I sit and write this today I am overwhelmed by the sense of needing to convey in a thousand words or so the sheer force of personality, drive and compassion that has led to Suaad Allami, a leading Iraqi human rights lawyer to receive the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards Fern Holland Award in Washington last month.

She was also one of just eight women globally to receive the Women of Courage Award from Hillary Clinton and Michele Obama in 2009. Still a practicing lawyer, Suaad founded Women for Progress in 2007 a “one-stop shop” for everything from legislative advocacy, vocational training, and domestic violence counselling to medical exams and literacy education and even child care and exercise opportunities.

She is known for her unwavering resolve to reintegrate women into Iraqi society and to engage them fully in reconstructing a stronger nation and of course I will tell you about this… but I also want to convey the Suaad that jumped out at me over our skype call. This was the Suaad Allami who was born and stayed in Sadr City, one of the poorest Baghdad suburbs. It was the woman shaped by the determination of illiterate parents to find her voice through education. It was the lawyer, who despite a ‘handicap’ of gender has risen to be one of Iraq’s great civil society leaders.

And there we have it, just there. The word I want to start with, that connects the themes and ideas that bind our discussion together. Leadership. We start with a bit of background.

“ You ask about my mother and her influence on me. As you know she was illiterate as indeed was my father. My mother though was very strong in her views about what this meant to her. She always told me not to be like a blind person. That’s what it meant to her to be uneducated. Both my parents were illiterate and both were determined my three sisters and I should have a good education.

As I got older I recognised that even though my parents were blind in one way, their values were incredibly strong. These values and morals underpinned our education, because they gave us the understanding of what vision means. Their desire to help us ‘see’ everything, contextualised our education in a way that inspired greater depth. Their ambition for us reached beyond the academic into the human. This shaped my learning and my work.”

Posted in Madeleine White0 Comments

Iraq Stock Market Report

Iraq Stock Market Report

Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 17th July 2014).

Please click here to download a table of listed companies and their associated ticker codes.

The RSISX index ended the week at ID1,495 (-0.4%)/ $1,597 (-0.4%) (weekly change) (-19.8% and -19.6% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 3.3bn and the weekly trading volume was ID3.7bn ($3.1mn).

ScreenHunter_822 Jul. 19 18.01

ISX Company Announcements

  • According to CBI announcement on July 13, 2014, the Central Bank has adopted the releasing of electronic payment system to organize payment service providers job and grant them license with the aim of developing the financial and banking sector in Iraq and reducing the phenomenon of carrying and handling money and creating a competitive environment among the financial institutions through providing new banking services.
  • Ready Made Clothes (IRMC) will hold its AGM* on Aug. 4, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results and decreasing 36% of the accumulated deficit. ISX will suspend trading of IRMC starting on July 27, 2014.
  • Original shares of Mamoura Real Estate (SMRI) will resume trading on July 21, after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results and increasing its capital from IQD15.010bn to IQD18.012bn through 20% rights issue. The opening price will be IQD4.44 per share with +/- 50% limit for the first session.
  • Original shares of Kharkh Tour A. City (SKTA) will resume trading on July 20, after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results and increasing its capital from IQD368mn to IQD500mn through 35.9% bonus issue. The opening price will be IQD54.32/ share with +/- 50% limit for the first session.
  • Bank of Baghdad (BBOB) will hold its AGM* on July 23, 2014 to discuss and approve 2013 annual financial results and elect new board members. ISX suspended trading of BBOB starting on July 16, 2014.
  • Iraqi Middle East Bank (BIME) will hold its AGM* on July 19, 2014 to discuss and approve 2012 and 2013 annual financial results. ISX suspended trading of BIME starting on July 13, 2014.
  • Dijlah & Furat Bank (BDFD) will hold its AGM* on July 19, 2014 to discuss increasing its capital from IQD100bn to IQD250bn through 144% rights and 6% bonus issues. ISX suspended trading of BDFD starting on July 13, 2014.
  • Shares of Ashur International Bank (BASH) resumed trading on July 13, 2014 after they discussed and approved 2013 financial results and distributing 6% (IQD0.06 per share) cash dividend.


Posted in Investment0 Comments

Video: Cheney Accepts no Blame for Iraq

Video: Cheney Accepts no Blame for Iraq

Former Vice President Dick Cheney blames the crisis in Iraq on President Obama and Iraq Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Posted in Politics, Security0 Comments

Iraq, the Full Picture

Iraq, the Full Picture

Despite the often grim news coming from Iraq in recent weeks, many businesses are seizing the opportunity to go where others won’t.

In this week’s newsletter, for example, we report on a new truck distribution deal in Iraqi Kurdistan, a Turkish company completing a storage tank project, and a Malaysian firm planning to break into the Iraqi helicopter charter market.

We also have news of a new road that will greatly reduce travel times to and from the Iranian border, and an assurance from the Oil Minister that southern oil production is unaffected by the recent violence further North.

People who want the full picture of Iraq read Iraq Business News, and the most effective way to get your message to them is to advertising with us. We have a wide range of options to suit all budgets — you can find more details here.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

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