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Steve I Update from PD


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Greeting Members,

Ray and I have been comparing notes with our contacts and we have been very encouraged with the recent news coming out of Iraq.

The other day one of our members posted a few screen shots which are below and a current news article to back up what our contacts are saying.

Here is a current update by one of Ray's Iraqi contacts:


Was talking to some of my contacts yesterday and today and just wanted to give a little update on what is happening in Iraq right now. The people over there have been getting nervous about all the currency that has gone to Iran and Syria and was worried that the CBI was going to run out of money. Mohammad Mudher, the man who gave the press conference last week, came on TV yesterday and told the people not to worry about anything. He stated that the CBI has triple the money in reserves than all the dinar out in the market place. Also, the CBI has instructed all the banks to quit taking the Iranian and Syrian currency and also told the money changers too. The merchants that are still taking it are having to go to Dubai to exchange it.

Also, Maliki is meeting with Talabani tonight to discuss the remaining minister positions. It is hoped that they will come up with an agreement on the positions. Also, all the ministers will be swearing an oath tonight to the government of Iraq. They will be placing their hands on their holy book of choice. They will be swearing their allegiance to the government only and not to any other outside group or government. I hope to have more information on the outcome of this meeting that I can share tomorrow.



Now adding this article from Iraq-Business News, it supports the TV news.

Iraq now has over $60 million in foreign currency reserves as a result of the country’s oil sales, according to a report from Azzaman.

Mudher Saleh, a consultant with Iraq’s Central Bank, said the reserves are the highest in the country’s history, and are more than enough to cover the total volume of national currency currently in circulation.

Saleh made the remarks following a surge in demand for the US dollar, fueled mainly by sanctions on neighboring Syria and Iran, saying the Central Bank was determined to meet demand for dollars.

The bank had no problems selling dollars in return for dinars, he added, and this has boosted confidence in the local currency. External trade with the dinar as the currency of choice was on the increase.

Trade flow between Iraq and Iran and Syria has skyrocketed recently, according to Azzaman, with Iraq supplying the demand for sanctioned goods.

With all this great news, things are looking more positive.

Here is yet another positive news article:

Sunni Ministers in Iraq Return to Cabinet

Published: February 7, 2012

BAGHDAD — Iraq’s Sunni ministers returned to the cabinet on Tuesday, an incremental step that eases the tensions of the country’s political crisis but does not end it, and sets the stage for a national conference to seek a durable solution to a sectarian drama that erupted just as American troops left in December and raised the specter of a civil war.

The decision by the ministers for Iraqiya, the parliamentary bloc that includes most Sunni lawmakers, to rejoin the government follows the recent decision by Iraqiya to end its boycott of Parliament. Together, the decisions represent what Sunni officials called good-will gestures, but notably did not come after any public concessions from the Shiite-dominated central government, which is led by Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki.

The two largest issues that precipitated the boycotts, and exacerbated sectarian tensions by fueling a sentiment of disenfranchisement among the country’s Sunni minority, have not been resolved. Those were an arrest warrant issued for Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi on terrorism charges, and Mr. Maliki’s attempt to fire Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq for calling Mr. Maliki a dictator in the press. Both Mr. Hashimi and Mr. Mutlaq are Sunnis.

But officials said that Iraqiya has since distanced itself from Mr. Hashimi’s case, removing it from the center of the crisis by essentially agreeing with Mr. Maliki to leave it to the courts rather than the political arena. With Mr. Mutlaq, Iraqiya continues to insist that he be allowed to return to Parliament, while officials from Mr. Maliki’s alliance have insisted that Mr. Mutlaq would first need to apologize.

A report in the Iraqi press this week suggested that Mr. Mutlaq — who was traveling abroad on Tuesday — had drafted a letter of apology, but several officials, including Hamid al-Mutlaq, an Iraqiya lawmaker who is Mr. Mutlaq’s brother, denied that.

The crisis has had the result of weakening Iraqiya — and thereby the foothold of Sunnis on a stake in public life — and strengthening Mr. Maliki’s power, especially among his Shiite base. Not only did Iraqiya end its boycotts of both Parliament and the cabinet without receiving anything tangible in return, some ministers defied the boycott and some members of Parliament have broken away from Iraqiya.

Nada al-Juboori, an Iraqiya member of Parliament, described the end of the cabinet boycott as simply a “good step toward holding the national conference.”

Even so, Mr. Maliki has not backed away from targeting Sunni lawmakers. This week, the central government sought to lift the immunity of an Iraqiya lawmaker, Haider al-Mulla, which could precede Mr. Mulla being prosecuted for criticizing a judge involved in Mr. Hashimi’s case.

The lull in the crisis appears to represent an effort at closed-door reconciliation among Iraq’s three main factions — Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds — to at least paper over their biggest differences and prevent a collapse of the government or worse, a slide in to civil war. President Jalal Talabani, who is a Kurd, recently returned from knee surgery in Germany and has been meeting with leaders to set the parameters for a national conference that could be held in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, an Arab League delegation recently visited Baghdad and agreed that this year’s Arab Summit, which was canceled last year amid the turmoil in the region and concerns about security in Baghdad, will be held here next month. With Syria facing an increasingly bloody revolution and Egypt struggling to secure the promise of Tahrir Square, the gathering — if it is held, and there is plenty of doubt that it will given the region’s uncertainties — would swing the world’s spotlight on Iraq.

“It would be a sign of Iraq’s full integration in the world and the region,” said Hosyar Zebari, Iraq’s foreign minister. Mr. Zebari said the upcoming summit meeting has given Iraq’s leaders a new incentive to settle their differences — at least temporarily — so they can show the world a united front.

The crisis has extended beyond Iraq’s borders, causing a diplomatic disturbance with Turkey, Iraq’s biggest trading partner. Comments by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey that were critical of Mr. Maliki’s handling of the crisis “infuriated the Iraqi people,” said Mr. Zebari. Mr. Maliki, meanwhile, has still refused to meet with Turkey’s new ambassador to Iraq, who arrived in December.

For the Iraqi people, the crisis has further alienated them from their leaders, whom most regard as corrupt and out of touch with the lives of ordinary citizens. Parliament recently convened to try to pass a $100 billion budget, but delayed any decision. It did, however, pass a law banning smoking in public spaces, which will likely prove difficult to enforce in a country where nearly half of all males are smokers.

Some leaders now say that the initial rhetoric following the eruption of the crisis in December, in which many predicted the country would soon devolve in to civil war, was overblown.

“I’m still convinced that the sectarian war has ended and won’t return,” said Ammar al-Hakim, the leader of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, a leading Shiite political party. “Those bad years in Iraq won’t return.”


Central Bank Defends Weak Iraqi Dinar

Iraq’s Central Bank says it will not allow the Iraqi dinar to depreciate and has been selling hundreds of millions of dollars to keep the currency stable, according to a report from Azzaman.

The dinar weakened in December, prompting the bank to sell dollars in a bid to withdraw cash from Iraqi markets.

The bank did not say what caused the dinar to plummet to “lows it had not seen for years”, but officials privately say the plunge might have been due to political uncertainty in the region.

Mudher Saleh, Central Bank’s deputy governor, said there were no sound economic reasons for the currency’s weakening, but speculated that it might be the economic difficulties Iraq’s neighbours are facing, particularly Syria and Iran.

The bank coffers are said to be brimming with hard cash from oil sales.

Saleh said the bank would not let the dinar fall and in one day in December last year it sold $200 million on the open market to squeeze liquidity.

“We withdrew in one single day about one quarter of a trillion dinars, thereby bringing stability to the currency,” Saleh said.

He said Iraqi traders and industrialists have turned into middlemen for these countries, which has led to a substantial growth in demand for hard currency.


Please remain positive and let Iraq finish wrapping things up.

Now, when you see the borders closed you know it has happened! :)

Remember, "Silence is golden unless you can improve on it!"

I hope you all have a great week and even better weekend.

God Bless you all and your families.


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Looks like Steve took to heart what I said last week about him. He actually contributed something!!!! Of course, it looks like he went over to the newshound and copied and pasted some articles and then copied and pasted Ray's e-mail to go along with the articles but hey..... He's working hard for his people!!!!!!!

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Looks like Steve took to heart what I said last week about him. He actually contributed something!!!! Of course, it looks like he went over to the newshound and copied and pasted some articles and then copied and pasted Ray's e-mail to go along with the articles but hey..... He's working hard for his people!!!!!!!

Gotta agree, after reading that post that is some of the best "Real" intel that makes sense. Not just a bunch of "jaberwaky" of "if if's and butts were candy and nuts, then!" :D:D:D:D

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Gotta agree, after reading that post that is some of the best "Real" intel that makes sense. Not just a bunch of "jaberwaky" of "if if's and butts were candy and nuts, then!" :D:D:D:D

Hey guys, the first line was the best one!

"Ray and I have been comparing notes with our contacts..."

Really?? I have never seen a SteveL update with anything but "RAY'S update" in the heading. I am 200% certain that SteveL had no notes from which a comparison could be made. :)

Edited by SSI
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