Tag Archive | "Saudi Arabia"

Iran Dominates Market after Occupation of Mosul


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

After the occupation of the Iraqi town of Mosul by armed groups, including the Islamic State (IS) and the Baath Party — banned by the Iraqi Constitution — prices of food increased significantly, a result of blocked roads and fighting near border crossings, preventing the flow of goods.

Iraq has only two sea routes, the ports of Umm Qasr and Khor al-Zubair, and the following border crossings: Trebil with Jordan; al-Waleed, al-Qaim and Rabia with Syria; Ibrahim Khalil with Turkey; Mundhiriyah with Iran; Arar with Saudi Arabia; and Safwan with Kuwait.

Iraqi markets rely heavily on border crossings for supplies, especially crossings with Turkey, Syria and Iran. The occupation of Mosul reduced access to the crossing of Ibrahim Khalil with Turkey, meaning there are no safe roads from the border to Baghdad and other provinces.

Moreover, the Rabia crossing recently fell out of central government control and into the hands of Kurdish forces. Yet, even before the occupation of Mosul, this border crossing was not favored by merchants.

The three border crossings on the frontiers of Anbar province that link Iraq to Jordan and Syria are basically inoperative, since Iraqi security forces launched a massive military operation in Anbar to eradicate terrorism in December 2014. Crucially, the Mundhiriyah crossing with Iran has remained out of the hands of the mainly Sunni militants since it is located in the majority Shiite Wasit province.

Furthermore, the Iranian government opened two other crossings with Iraq to facilitate the entry of goods. According to a statement issued by the Council of Ministers, the Iraqi government facilitated the procedures for the entry of goods through this crossing to speed up the flow of imports. The government now accepts certificates of origin, provided by inspecting companies, without taking random samples at border points.

Trade between Iraq and Turkey reached $12 billion (14 trillon Iraqi dinars) in 2013, however, on July 2, the Turkish Exporters Assembly said exports to Iraq had declined by 21%, dropping from second to third place, trailing behind the United Kingdom.

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Najaf to Boycott Saudi Goods


By John Lee.

The Provincial Council of Najaf has reportedly decided to boycott Saudi Arabian merchandise because of what it describes as Riyadh’s support for sectarian and terrorist groups fighting in Iraq.

The Media Director of Najaf’s Provincial Council told AIN:

“The merchants who will violate this decision will be punished after the period given to them to sell the current stored Saudi goods.”

(Source: FARS)

(Picture: Imam Ali Mosque, Najaf)

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A Thawing of Relations with Saudi Arabia?


By Padraig O’Hannelly.

Earlier this week, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud pledged $500 million of humanitarian aid from Saudi Arabia to the Iraqi people, to be administered by the United Nations.

This could be a very significant move, given that relations between Iraq and its powerful and wealthy neighbour have been strained for many years.

As recently as March, the Iraqi prime minister accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of effectively declaring war on his country by funding Sunni fighters in Anbar province.

And while Saudi Arabia denies any such funding, it is generally believed that wealthy individuals in the country are a key source of funding for insurgents, including ISIS.

This development can only serve to improve relations between Iraq and Saudi Arabia and is to be welcomed.

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

 

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Saudi Pledges $500m in Aid


By John Lee.

An official source at the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has said that King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has ordered  $500 million of humanitarian aid for Iraqi people affected by the recent tragic events, including displaced people, regardless of their religious, doctrinal or ethnic affiliations.

The United Nations Secretary General has been informed of this aid which will be provided through the United Nations organizations for the Iraqi people only.

(Source: SPA)

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Video: Regional Economy feels Iraq Conflict


From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Fear of getting caught up in violence and difficulty getting visas to Iraq are affecting businesses in Jordan.

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Saudis Traveling to Iraq to be Penalised


By John Lee.

Saudi citizens caught traveling to Iraq will face a fine of SR10,000 ($2,700) and a three-year travel ban, according to a report from Arab News.

Col. Salman Al-Muhaya, director of the Saudi travel section at the Passport Department, said:

“There are exceptional cases where Saudis may be allowed to travel … based on specific regulations. In Iraq, for instance, certain procedures must be followed by Saudis that have to be cleared by ad hoc committees in certain areas.”

(Source: Arab News)

(Flag image via Shutterstock)

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Video: Saudi, Qatar “at War Against Iraq”


From Al Jazeera. Any opinions expressed are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

The Iraqi prime minister has accused Qatar and Saudi Arabia of effectively declaring war on his country.

He says they’re funding Sunni fighters in Anbar province, an area the Iraqi government is struggling to bring under control.

Al Jazeera‘s Imran Khan reports on the comments made as at least 47 people were killed by a suicide bomber in the city of Hilla. Al Jazeera also speaks to Nasser Bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Qatar’s former ambassador to the United Nations and the United States:

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Iraq, Iran Plot Oil Revolution, Challenge Saudi


By John Lee.

Iraq and Iran, which together hold more oil reserves than Saudi Arabia, are planning to challenge Saudi Arabia’s grip on OPEC and its status as the “swing producer” in the cartel, according to a report from The Telegraph.

With Iraq poised to triple its capacity to 9 million bpd by 2020,  the result could be a dramatic fall in oil prices.

Hussain al-Shahristani (pictured), Deputy Prime Minister for Energy, said:

We feel the world needs to be assured of fuel for economic growth … It’s very difficult to predict actual world (oil) demand by 2020 because the world economy is unpredictable … Iran has been in touch with us; they want to share our contracts model and experience.

This news that Baghdad is working with Iran to help it attract investment ahead of the possible lifting of sanctions could be seen as a challenge to Saudi Arabia. Oil companies are understood to be queuing up to win Iranian oil deals.

The report speculates that, even if Iraq is able to achieve its target of boost production capacity as planned, it is unlikely to be able to put in place sufficient pipeline and port infrastructure to export the additional crude; the main export terminal near Basra will require billions of pounds worth of improvements in addition to the refurbishment of its pipeline network.

Currently, crude oil exports account for 93 percent of Iraqi government revenue.

(Source: The Telegraph)

Posted in Oil & GasComments (5)

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