By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Former Iraqi premier opens up about PMU, new PM, Iran

Al-Monitor’s correspondent in Iraq interviewed former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi at his family residence within the Green Zone in the capital Baghdad.

There, he holds meetings of the Victory Alliance and hosts guests. Abadi discussed many topics including his relationship with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the government of his successor Adil Abdul Mahdi, the possibility of Iraq mediating between Washington and Tehran and Israel’s targeting of the PMU.

Abadi warned against damaging carefully balanced ties between the Iraqi federal government and Iraq’s Kurdistan region because of power conflicts.

He also commented on the PMU accusing him of serving the intersts of the United States.

Click here to read the full story.

By Mustafa Saadoun for Al Monitor. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Former Iraqi premier opens up about PMU, new PM, Iran

Al-Monitor’s correspondent in Iraq interviewed former Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi at his family residence within the Green Zone in the capital Baghdad.

There, he holds meetings of the Victory Alliance and hosts guests. Abadi discussed many topics including his relationship with the Popular Mobilization Units (PMU), the government of his successor Adil Abdul Mahdi, the possibility of Iraq mediating between Washington and Tehran and Israel’s targeting of the PMU.

Abadi warned against damaging carefully balanced ties between the Iraqi federal government and Iraq’s Kurdistan region because of power conflicts.

He also commented on the PMU accusing him of serving the intersts of the United States.

Click here to read the full story.

The interior ministers of Iran and Iraq signed an agreement to implement plans to facilitate the Arbaeen pilgrimage to Iraq, including one on reopening the Khosravi border crossing.

Iranian Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli and his Iraqi counterpart Yassin Al Yasiri met in Tehran on Saturday and signed a memorandum of understanding to facilitate the Arbaeen pilgrimage to Iraq by Iranian travelers.

Based on the MoU, the two sides agreed to reopen the Khosravi border crossing and remove visa restrictions for pilgrims planning to visit Iraq for the Arbaeen ritual ceremony.

Iran and Iraq also agreed to raise the level of services and facilities for the pilgrims and enhance border security during the Arbaeen season, which will culminate in a large gathering in Karbala on October 19.

Arbaeen, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, comes 40 days after Ashura, the martyrdom anniversary of the third Shiite Imam.

Each year, a huge crowd of Shiites flock to the Iraqi city of Karbala, where the holy shrine of Imam Hussein (AS) is located, to perform mourning rites.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

Iraq’s oil ministry said on Sunday it has no connection with an oil tanker seized by Iran’s IRGC in the Persian Gulf for smuggling fuel, a report said.

“The ministry does not export diesel to the international market,” the Arab country’s oil ministry said in a statement, Iraqi News Agency reported.

Iraq’s relevant authorities are working to gather information about the seized vessel, it added.

Two Iraqi port officials said initial information obtained show that the seized ship is owned by a private shipping company which is owned by an Iraqi private trader.

In a statement on Sunday, the IRGC Navy’s Public Relations Department said that the foreign ship had been captured by the military vessels patrolling the second naval zone in the Persian Gulf as part of the operations to detect and fight against organized smuggling.

The IRGC Navy’s patrol vessels confiscated the foreign tanker that was carrying 700,000 liters of smuggled fuel in a surprise operation after coordination with judicial authorities, it added.

According to the statement, the foreign ship was seized near Farsi Island, a tiny, barren island in the Persian Gulf.

(Source: Tasnim, under Creative Commons licence)

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

Iraq’s government wants to see a big increase in oil production.

Oil and natural gas make up 90 percent of the country’s revenue.

But years of war and new environmental challenges are making it difficult to attract vital international investment.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid reports from the Majnoon oil field near the Iranian border:

By John Lee.

Iran‘s Securities and Exchange Organization (SEO) and the Iraqi Securities Commission (ISC) have signed a memorandum of understanding to create a joint investment fund.

According to Iran’s SEO, the agreement is “primarily focused on development of Islamic Financial instruments, enhancement of technical infrastructure and establishment of common investment funds through shared partnership of both Iranian and Iraqi sides“.

SEO Chairman Dr. Shapour Mohammadi commented:

“Very soon, we will be enabled to enlist Iraqi companies in Iranian capital market and vice versa, thanks to the signed MOU and further works both side have to do in future.”

(Source: Iran Securities and Exchange Organization)

By John Lee.

Iran and Iraq have reportedly signed an agreement on developing commercial cooperation aiming to facilitate and remove trade barriers between two countries.

Iran’s commercial attaché to Iraq, Naser Behzad, told IRNA that the agreement was signed during the visit by the head of the Trade Promotion Organization of Iran (TPOI) and the accompanying delegation to Iraq.

Based on the agreement, preparations will be made for the establishment of a joint industrial town, restoring new methods for verifying Iranian products standards, focusing on the quality of the exports goods, launching offices for Exports Guarantee Fund of Iran and providing guarantee for exports for Iraq, he added.

Facilitating visa issuance for businessmen, holding training courses, increasing Iranian exhibitions, paving the way for private sector companies’ participation and removing non-tariff barriers on exporting Iranian products to Iraq were among other topics mentioned in the agreement.

Behzad noted that Iran-Iraq joint trade committee was held for the first time aiming to design strategies for developing cooperation in Iraq.

The committee discussed eight important topics in Iran-Iraq trade including commercial, banking, standard, customs, industrial, investment, technical and engineering services, transportation, transit and the ways for developing private sector’s interactions.

(Source: IRNA)

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

Iraq and Iran are neighbours: Around $25m worth of Iranian goods enter Iraq every day.

But a US deadline that allows Iraq to trade with Iran is set to expire in three months, and Tehran and Baghdad are trying to find a way around it.

Iraqi traders are worried, as Iranian goods are much cheaper.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid has this report from Baghdad:

By Peter Schwartzstein, for National Geographic.

Iranian border guards have started scores of blazes along their shared frontier to clear their lines of sight along key cross-border smuggling routes.

Turkish airstrikes on militant camps have reduced tracts of forest to cinder.

Across the bone-dry mountains and flatlands, a potent combination of illegal logging and naturally occurring wildfires are consuming large chunks of whatever greenery bombs and bullets haven’t torched.

Click here to read the full article.