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trident

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  1. And IRAQ doesn't use its own gas...because???
  2. Middle East WATCH: Video of Iraqi official’s bodyguards beating traffic cop goes viral Sangar Ali | 4 hours ago The incident occured in Aden Square, in Baghdad’s Kadhimiya district, Nov. 3, 2018. (Photo: Social Media) Baghdad Iraq Police Traffic ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – A video of an Iraqi official’s bodyguards beating a traffic police officer has gone viral on Iraqi social media. The footage, filmed by a bystander who witnessed the incident, shows several guards dressed in uniform, reportedly employed by an Iraqi official, punching a traffic policeman who tried to stop them from overtaking traffic at a busy intersection. The incident occurred on Saturday in Aden Square in Baghdad’s Kadhimiya area. “The policeman tried to prevent the guards’ vehicle from crossing the intersection as he was letting cars coming from the other side go through,” an eyewitness told Kurdistan 24. Aden Square often experiences chaotic traffic, especially at the intersection as traffic lights regularly malfunction or lose power. As a result, police officers commonly direct traffic at the intersection using fluorescent batons or hand signals. The footage showed a confrontation between the guards and the traffic guard before it escalated into a beating, with people gathering around and blocking the road. The incident highlights the influence of officials who at times act with impunity and disregard laws in a country wrought with instability and insecurity since the fall of the authoritarian system in 2003. “The aggressors have been arrested and are now being kept in jail in the al-Hurriyah prison,” near Kadhimiya, a security source said, a predominantly Shia neighborhood. A security source in Baghdad, who asked to remain unidentified, revealed that the bodyguards belonged to the head of Baghdad Provincial Council, Riyad al-Adadh. Under Iraqi law, anyone who insults an employee or a person carrying out a public service is liable to imprisonment for a term which does not exceed two years. “The policeman was just doing his job... The bodyguards may be detained for hours or a few days, but we all know that there is no way they will stay in jail for a long time. This country is full of corruption, and the rule of law is hardly implemented in Iraq,” said Jabar Hakim, a social media activist who expressed his disappointment after the incident, pointing to the challenges in bringing perpetrators and officials to justice. Editing by Nadia Riva
  3. Middle East New, toughest phase of Iran sanctions begins on Monday Laurie Mylroie | 7 hours ago A staff member removes the Iranian flag from the stage during the Iran nuclear talks at the Vienna International Center in Vienna, Austria July 14, 2015. (Photo: Reuters/Carlos Barria) Iraq Iran US Sanctions Baghdad Washington WASHINGTON DC (Kurdistan 24) – On Friday, senior US officials described in detail the next phase of international sanctions on Iran that will start at midnight on Monday. The sanctions target Iran’s oil, banking, and shipping sectors. States that are not in compliance will be subject to secondary US sanctions, although Washington has provided for temporary waivers—“Significant Reduction Exemptions” (SREs) to be issued for renewable six-month periods. The SREs are for countries dependent on Iranian oil imports and which have made a substantial effort to reduce such purchases. Eight countries will receive SREs, and two are so close to ending their imports of Iranian oil that they are expected to end such purchases “within weeks,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo explained. He, and other US officials, declined to identify any of those countries on Friday but said they would do so on Monday. However, Turkey’s Energy Minister said that his country would receive an SRE. Iraq will also receive a waiver that will allow it to continue importing food, along with gas and other energy supplies from Iran, Reuters reported, citing three Iraqi officials. However, Iraq will be obliged to pay Iran in Iraqi dinars rather than US dollars, with the money to be kept in an escrow account for humanitarian purchases. The same conditions, presumably, would also apply to the Kurdistan Region. It is also speculated that China, Japan, India, and South Korea will also receive waivers. Iran will not be free to spend the money it receives from countries that continue importing its oil. Rather, those funds will go into a special escrow account in the national bank of the importing country. Iran will be allowed to use that money only for humanitarian purposes, while the US will be monitoring those accounts. Although the sanctions have yet to begin, Iran is already feeling their effect. In a statement issued by President Donald Trump, he noted that over the past year, Iran’s currency has “lost about 70 percent of its value.” “Iran’s economy is sliding into recession,” while the inflation rate has “nearly quadrupled since May,” reaching 37 percent last month, Trump explained. “More than 100 companies” have stopped doing business with Iran, and “we expect that number to grow,” he continued. They include major US firms, such as Boeing and General Electric, as well as European companies like Peugeot, Renault, Siemens, and Total, despite the European Union’s efforts to maintain the nuclear deal and insulate Iran from the effect of the new sanctions. Pompeo noted that the US measures have already reduced Iranian oil exports by one million barrels a day, even before the sanctions go into effect. That is “three to five times more than what many analysts” expected, he said, and represents a 40 percent decrease from Iran’s earlier export of 2.5 million barrels a day. Pompeo also noted that this reduction of Iranian oil exports had been accomplished without an increase in oil prices: the price for benchmark Brent crude remains unchanged from May, when the US withdrew from the Iranian nuclear deal, he said. So far, Iran’s response has been relatively mild. It is downplaying the anticipated effect of sanctions and highlighting the eight waivers, suggesting that they show that the US has failed in its objective of cutting off all Iranian oil exports. Iran’s muted response to the new sanctions could change quickly, however. And particularly given its extensive terrorist activities, Tehran could resort to such attacks, whether directed at US targets or at US allies, such as Saudi Arabia, whose increased oil production is helping to compensate for the cut-off of Iranian supplies. Editing by Nadia Riva http://www.kurdistan24.net/en/news/042ebe34-e5cd-431f-a450-2cd5913aa965
  4. Middle East Barham Salih says will protect Iraq Constitution, resolve Erbil-Baghdad disputes Karzan Sulaivany | 2 hours ago Newly-elected Iraqi President Barham Salih delivers a press conference in Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region, on Oct. 27, 2018. (Photo: Kurdistan 24) Iraq Barham Salih Erbil Baghdad Relations Kurdistan KRG ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s new President Barham Salih says the formation of a new government in Baghdad can resolve outstanding issues between the Federal Government of Iraq and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG). During a press conference on Sunday, Salih expressed optimism at the progress of Iraq’s new government formation and stressed that his task as president is to protect the Iraqi Constitution. “There is great hope that the new government cabinet will solve many problems, including the outstanding issues between Baghdad and Erbil, based on the Iraqi Constitution,” Salih told reporters in the Kurdistan Region’s Sulaimani province. Ongoing disputes between Baghdad and Erbil include a share of the national budget, oil and gas revenues, salary payment for Peshmerga forces, and the status of disputed areas among other issues. “The differences are major and not easy to solve,” Salih noted, “so, they require a political will and a real desire to resolve the outstanding tensions and end the differences.” Salih also underlined the need to solve these issues via the constitution. “As President of the Republic of Iraq, my task is to protect the Iraqi Constitution.” “The current situation in Kirkuk is [in violation of the constitution], so the situation should be resolved and the status of the province should be determined,” he added. The province of Kirkuk contains a mixture of ethnicities such as Kurds, Arabs, and Turkmens. It is one of the most contested regions between the Iraqi government and the KRG. Senior Kurdistan Region officials have repeatedly called for the need to apply Article 140 of the constitution to settle the dispute. According to the article in the 2005 constitution, the future of Kirkuk and other disputed areas were to be decided on in three stages, beginning with normalization and then relying on a local referendum to determine which government would administer the region. However, this was never implemented due to political differences. “The solution should be resolved in Kirkuk according to the will of its residents who have experienced great difficulties due to political differences,” Salih said. On Oct. 2, the Iraqi Council of Representatives elected Salih as the country’s new president. He replaced Fuad Masum as Iraq’s eighth president.
  5. Middle East Iraqi PM, partial cabinet sworn in, lawmakers to reconvene on disputed posts Kosar Nawzad | 9 hours ago The new Iraqi PM, Adil Abdul-Mahdi with his 14 ministers. (Photo: Iraqi Parliament) Iraq Baghdad Parliament ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Iraqi parliament gave its vote of confidence to 14 ministers in the new government headed by Adil Abdul-Mahdi with lawmakers disagreeing on the remaining eight ministerial posts, including the ministries of Defense, Interior, and Justice. The new Prime Minister of Iraq and his 14 ministers were sworn in during the session, attended by 220 lawmakers late on Wednesday. Candidates to lead the ministries of Interior, Defense, Planning, Higher Education, Displacement and Migration, Culture, Justice, and Education were not included in the vote. Abdul-Mahdi will have until the first week of November to complete his cabinet, which will require negotiations with various factions in the country. Parliamentary Speaker Mohammed al-Halbousi has said that MPs will reconvene on Nov. 06 to vote on the remaining ministries. As Foreign Minister, Mohammed al-Hakim was sworn in; Thamir al-Ghadhban took over as Oil Minister, while Fuad Hussein took the post of Finance Minister. The rest of the ministries are occupied as follows: Agriculture Minister - Salih al-Hosni Communication Minister - Naim al-Rubaye Electricity Minister - Luay al-Khatteeb Housing and Reconstruction Minister - Bangin Rekani Health Minister - Alaa Alwani Industry Minister - Abdullah Al-Jubouri Labour and Social Affairs Minister - Bassem al-Rubaye Trade Minister - Mohammad Hashim Transport Minister - Abdullah Luaibi Water Resources Minister - Jamal Al-Adli Youth and Sports Minister - Ahmed Obeidi. The new PM highlighted the security of the country during his speech delivered to the assembly, where he detailed his plans for the future of Iraq as it moves past four years of conflict with the Islamic State (IS), which has left much of the infrastructure of liberated areas in shambles. “We will limit [the traffic of] arms so that they remain in the hands of the state alone, and we will support all the security forces, the Hashd al-Shaabi, and Peshmerga in fighting terrorism,” asserted Abdul-Mahdi. “We will work to end the security chaos… in order to protect the system, security and the rights of citizens.” Kurds are expected to occupy four ministerial posts in the new cabinet. So far, only two have taken their oaths, with the other two being among the yet unchosen eight ministers. “The KDP [Kurdistan Democratic Party] will receive three ministerial posts which are the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Displacement and Migration, and Ministry of Municipalities and Public Works,” Aram Ballatayi, a KDP lawmaker in Baghdad, told Kurdistan 24 in parliament. The other is set to go to the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Editing by Nadia Riva
  6. World Iraqi Oil Minister reverses NOC decree to take ownership of state oil firms Kurdistan 24 | October 21-2018 09:06 AM Iraqi Oil Minister Jabar al-Luaibi. (Photo: Reuters/Thaier al-Sudani) Iraq Baghdad Oil ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq’s Oil Minister, Jabar al-Luaibi, reversed his decision to transfer the ownership of nine state-owned oil companies from the ministry to the newly formed National Oil Company after opposition from Iraq’s Prime Minister-designate, the ministry confirmed on Saturday. In an interview with state media, Luaibi stated that Iraq hopes to produce seven million barrels of oil per day (bpd) through the National Oil Company and export four million bpd in 2019. He reversed his decision to transfer ownership two days after issuing the decree. The move will enable the new government of Prime Minister-designate Adil Abdul-Mahdi to make its own decisions in the oil sector, Iraq’s Oil Ministry said in a statement. Luaibi is the current Oil Minister in the outgoing government led by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. Abdul-Mahdi had reportedly been “annoyed” by the original decree which had been “made in a rush and without his approval,” a senior Iraqi oil official told Reuters. Luaibi had issued a decree on Thursday to transfer the ownership of nine state-owned oil companies, including oil marketer SOMO, from the Oil Ministry to the newly-formed National Oil Company, which Luaibi also heads. The nine state-owned firms included in Luaibi’s decree, are SOMO, the Iraqi Oil Exploration Company, the Iraqi Drilling Company, the North Oil Company, the Midland Oil Company, Basra Oil Company, Dhi Qar Oil Company, Maysan Oil Company, and the Iraqi Oil Tankers Company. On the same day, Abdul-Mahdi called on current Iraqi officials in the outgoing government cabinet to refrain from signing urgent deals, making non-essential hires, or other critical decisions. The Iraqi federal government last week named Luaibi as head of the new National Oil Company, which is to serve as an umbrella organization for all state oil companies. The positions of company chief and minister are not related, but Luaibi currently holds both. In March, the Iraqi Parliament voted to establish the company, which is meant to manage the country’s upstream operations, freeing up the ministry to set plans and strategies to develop the sector. In an interview with state TV on Saturday, the Oil Minister stated that his country hoped to export one million bpd through Jordan’s Aqaba port, without offering more details or a specific timeline. Editing by Nadia Riva Updated October 21-2018 09:32 AM
  7. trident

    Announcement of the largest bloc

    Middle East UN urges Iraqi politicians aid PM-designate to form government Kosar Nawzad | 18 hours ago Protesters raise national flags while chanting slogans demanding better public services and jobs during a protest in front of the provincial council building in Basra, Iraq. (Photo: Associated Press) Iraq Baghdad UN Jan Kubis ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The United Nations on Sunday called on all Iraqi political entities to support Prime Minister-designate Adel Abdul-Mahdi and his government formation efforts and called for “meaningful” female representation therein. In early October, the Iraqi Council of Representative elected Barham Salih as the country’s new president. Salih then named Abdul-Mahdi, a former vice president, as prime minister-designate and tasked him with forming his cabinet. In meetings with Iraqi leaders, the Special Representative for Iraq of the United Nations Secretary-General, Jan Kubis, “notes their intention to facilitate the formation of the next government within the constitutional timeline,” a UN statement read. Kubis expressed his delight at hearing officials and leaders’ desire for a “patriotic administration with a reform-minded programme away from sectarian and partisan quotas and corruption, with partnership participation of all components and segments of Iraq.” Kubis called on parties to cooperate with Abdul-Mahdi “in the government formation process, prioritizing the well-being of the country and its people over partisan interests.” Abdul-Mahdi’s office announced on Wednesday that he would submit a new cabinet to parliament for endorsement next week. “The people of Iraq expect the prime minister-designate to be able and free to choose his own cabinet team with a composition that will send a strong positive response to Iraqi citizens who demand radical change and a break with the practices of the past.” The UN’s Special Representative called “for the meaningful representation of women with key ministerial portfolios as well as respect for the rights of minorities.” Iraq held nationwide parliamentary elections on May 12. The ratification of results was delayed for months due to a contentious recount process over allegations of fraud and vote rigging. The new Iraqi government will be tasked with rebuilding the country after a three-year war against the Islamic State and balancing relations between Iraq’s biggest allies, Iran and the United States. Editing by Karzan Sulaivany
  8. Middle East Iraqi PM-designate sends proposed cabinet to parliament ahead of vote Sangar Ali | 2 hours ago Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adil Abdul-Mahdi. (Photo: Press Office) Iraq Baghdad ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Adil Abdul-Mahdi has submitted his cabinet to the Iraqi Parliament for consideration before the expected voting session, a source said on Monday. Abdul-Mahdi is expected to present the names of his cabinet ministers to parliament later this week for approval before the constitutional deadline expires. According to the constitution, the Iraqi Parliament must vote on the government of Abdul-Mahdi before November 2. “Abdul-Mahdi sent the biographies of the proposed cabinet ministers to the House of Representatives ahead of the vote,” a Kurdish political source told Kurdistan 24. Iraqi officials say the Reform and Reconstruction Coalition, which is comprised of the two largest parliamentary blocs, dominate the list, holding most of the ministerial posts in the new government led by Abdul-Mahdi. Recently, a list of the alleged distribution of posts in the new government circulated Iraqi social media but was promptly revealed as false by Abdul-Mahdi. “There has been no report from the prime minister-designate’s office in this regard, and what is being circulated is absolutely false and baseless,” Abdul Mahdi’s press office said in a statement published on Sunday. The Iraqi Parliament is expected to hold a session to vote on the presented names of Abdul-Mahdi’s cabinet before the end of this week. Some sources have speculated the formation would be incomplete as Iraqi lawmakers may not approve some of the candidates. Editing by Nadia Riva
  9. if Iraq is fifth...makes me wonder which Arab countries are in the top four....?
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