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

Can Iraq get its water wheels on UNESCO World Heritage List?

Iraq has been working for the last three months to rehabilitate its historical norias in Hit, a city located in western Iraq on the banks of the upper Euphrates River.

The Iraqi government aims to inscribe these water wheels, which played an important role in the irrigation of the land for centuries, on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Click here to read the full story.

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) designated two militia figures, Rayan al-Kildani and Waad Qado, and two former Iraqi governors, Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan and Ahmed al-Jubouri, pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act and targets perpetrators of serious human rights abuse and corruption.

“The United States is taking action against four individuals in Iraq implicated in serious human rights abuse or corruption,” said Sigal Mandelker, Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence. “We will continue to hold accountable persons associated with serious human rights abuse, including persecution of religious minorities, and corrupt officials who exploit their positions of public trust to line their pockets and hoard power at the expense of their citizens.”

Many of the corruption- and abuse-related actions committed by these sanctioned individuals occurred in areas where persecuted religious communities are struggling to recover from the horrors inflicted on them by ISIS.  Therefore, today’s sanctions demonstrate solidarity with all Iraqis who oppose corruption and human rights abuse undertaken by public officials, and underscore the Administration’s commitment to support the recovery of persecuted religious communities in Iraq.

As a result of today’s actions, all property and interests in property of these individuals, and any entities that are owned, directly or indirectly, 50 percent or more by these individuals, that are in the United States or in the possession or control of U.S. persons must be blocked and reported to OFAC.  OFAC’s regulations generally prohibit any dealings by U.S. persons or within (or transiting) the United States that involve any property or interests in property of blocked persons.

RAYAN AL-KILDANI

Rayan al-Kildani (al-Kildani) was designated for being a foreign person who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, serious human rights abuse.

Al-Kildani is the leader of the 50th Brigade militia.  In May 2018, a video circulated among Iraqi human rights civil society organizations in which al-Kildani cut off the ear of a handcuffed detainee.

The 50th Brigade is reportedly the primary impediment to the return of internally displaced persons to the Ninewa Plain.  The 50th Brigade has systematically looted homes in Batnaya, which is struggling to recover from ISIS’s brutal rule.  The 50th Brigade has reportedly illegally seized and sold agricultural land, and the local population has accused the group of intimidation, extortion, and harassment of women.

WAAD QADO

Waad Qado (Qado) was designated for being a foreign person who is or has been a leader or official of an entity, including any government entity, that has engaged in, or whose members have engaged in, serious human rights abuse relating to the leader’s or official’s tenure.

Qado is the leader of the 30th Brigade militia.  The 30th Brigade has extracted money from the population around Bartalla, in the Ninewa Plain, through extortion, illegal arrests, and kidnappings.  The 30th Brigade has frequently detained people without warrants, or with fraudulent warrants, and has charged arbitrary customs fees at its checkpoints.  Members of the local population allege that the 30th Brigade has been responsible for egregious offenses including physical intimidation, extortion, robbery, kidnapping, and rape.

NAWFAL HAMMADI AL-SULTAN

Nawfal Hammadi al-Sultan (al-Sultan) is designated for being a foreign person who is a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery.

Al-Sultan is a former governor of Ninewa Province, Iraq.  Following a ferry accident in Ninewa’s capital, Mosul, that killed nearly 100 people, Iraq’s parliament removed al-Sultan from office.  The ferry, loaded to five times its capacity, had been carrying families to an island on the Tigris River when it sank.  Iraqi authorities have issued an arrest warrant for the former governor, who fled shortly after the accident.

In a letter to Members of Parliament after the ferry accident, Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi accused al-Sultan of negligence and dereliction of duty, and said there was evidence the former governor was misusing funds and abusing his power.  On March 27, 2019, the Ninewa investigations court said the former governor and several other officials were suspected of misusing their powers and wasting public money.

Al-Sultan has faced allegations of widespread corruption since 1994.  He was removed from his first post as mayor because of corruption and a conviction on smuggling charges.  In 2017, the United Nations Development Program suspended reconstruction projects after multiple allegations of al-Sultan siphoning off United Nations funds.

AHMED AL-JUBOURI

Ahmed al-Jubouri (al-Jubouri) is designated for being a foreign person who is a current or former government official, or a person acting for or on behalf of such an official, who is responsible for or complicit in, or who has directly or indirectly engaged in, corruption, including the misappropriation of state assets, the expropriation of private assets for personal gain, corruption related to government contracts or the extraction of natural resources, or bribery.

Al-Jubouri, also known as Abu Mazin, is a former governor of Salah al-Din, Iraq, and current Member of Parliament who has engaged in corruption.  Al-Jubouri was removed as governor and sentenced to prison in July 2017 upon conviction for misusing authority and federal funds and appropriating land for personal use.  Al-Jubouri has since been released.  Al-Jubouri has been known to protect his personal interests by accommodating Iran-backed proxies that operate outside of state control.

GLOBAL MAGNITSKY

Building upon the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, on December 20, 2017, the President signed E.O. 13818, “Blocking the Property of Persons Involved in Serious Human Rights Abuse or Corruption,” in which the President found that the prevalence of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, has reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems.  Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets.  The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.

To date, OFAC has sanctioned 113 individuals and entities pursuant to E.O. 13818.  These designations are in addition to the numerous human rights- or corruption-related designations Treasury has issued under various other sanctions authorities.  In total, since January 2017, Treasury has taken action against more than 680 individuals and entities engaged in activities related to, or directly involving, human rights abuse and/or corruption.  The Treasury Department has also published advisories to U.S. financial institutions on human rights abuses enabled by corrupt senior foreign political figures and their financial facilitators that can be found here, as well as advisories related to some of the programs listed above, which can be found here.

View identifying information on the individuals designated today.

(Source: OFAC)

Re:Coded is launching its first boot camp in Baghdad.

If you want to learn how to design and code websites or web apps, don’t miss it!

The bootcamp duration is four and a half months and the application deadline is July 20th, 2019

You will get to learn how to use HTML, CSS and JavaScript to write professional pages.

Limited scholarships are available. Apply now!

Apply Here!

 

وأخيرا في #بغداد!

Re:Coded ستطلق اول برنامج تدريبي في بغداد

اذا تريد تتعلم شون تصمم وتبرمج مواقع الويب او تطبيقات الويب.. لتفوت الفرصة

البرنامج مدته اربع شهور ونص واخر موعد للتقديم هو 20 تموز / يوليو 2019

بالبرنامج راح تتعلم استخدام لغات الـ HTML, CSS & JavaScript لتصميم صفحات احترافية

المقاعد محدودة، سجل الان على الرابط:

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Advertising Feature

Rabee Securities Iraq Stock Exchange (ISX) market report (week ending: 18th July 2019).

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

The RSISX index ended the week at IQD646 (-0.1%) / $695 (-0.1%) (weekly change) (-2.0% and -2.1% YTD change, respectively). The number of week traded shares was 2.2 bn and the weekly trading volume was IQD1.3 bn ($1.1 mn).

ISX Company Announcements

  • ISX will suspend trading of AL-Nukhba for General Construction (SNUC) starting Jul. 30, 2019 due to the AGM that will be held on Aug. 4, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • Original shares of Iraqi for Seed Production (AISP) resumed trading on Jul. 18, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results, increasing the capital from IQD10.50 bn to IQD13.65 bn through 30% bonus issue and deciding to distribute 20% cash dividend (IQD0.20 dividend per share, 3.1% dividend yield).
  • Mamoura Real-estate Investment (SMRI) resumed trading on Jul. 18, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results and deciding to distribute 5% cash dividend (IQD0.05 dividend per share, 2.8% dividend yield).
  • International Development Bank for Investment (BIDB) resumed trading on Jul. 18, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results.
  • Original shares of Al-Ameen Insurance (NAME) resumed trading on Jul. 16, 2019 after discussing and approving 2018 annual financial results and increasing the capital from IQD3.8 bn to IQD5.0 bn through 30.9% rights issue. The company closed the day at IQD0.37 per share, down by 27.5%.
  • Palestine Hotel (HPAL) resumed trading on Jul. 17, 2019 after discussing and approving 2017 annual financial results.
  • ISX suspended trading Bank of Baghdad (BBOB) starting on Jul. 16, 2019 due to the AGM that will be held on Jul. 20, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • Gulf Insurance and Reinsurance (NGIR) resumed trading on Jul. 15, 2019 due to fulfilling ISC’s request to provide 3M19 financial results.
  • ISX suspended trading of Al-Mosul for Funfairs (SMOF) starting Jul. 15, 2019 due to the AGM that would be held on Jul. 18, 2019 to discuss and approve 2018 annual financial results.
  • Credit Bank of Iraq (BROI) decided to distribute 2% cash dividend (IQD0.02 cash dividend per share, 5.1% dividend yield) in its AGM that was held on Jul. 13, 2019.

By John Lee.

Iraq’s National Investment Commission (NIC) has reportedly approved plans for a British company to develop a 4,000 acre site near Baghdad International Airport (BIAP).

According to Thomson Reuters, the NIC is negotiating with Iraqi companies to develop the remaining 16,000 acres of the land that cabinet approved for development in May.

More here.

(Source: Thomson Reuters)

By John Lee.

Reuters has reported that the Iraqi government has authorised the Ministry for Oil to sign an initial agreement with Netherlands-based Royal Boskalis Westminster to build an “offshore oil export installation“.

IBN’s requests to the company for confirmation have not been returned.

(Source: Reuters)

By John Lee.

Iran’s gas and electricity exports to Iraq are reportedy expected to reach $5 billion by the end of the current Iranian calendar year, which ends on March 21, 2020.

Mehr news agency quotes the Secretary General of Iran-Iraq Joint Chamber, Seyed Hamid Hosseini, as saying that if Iraq agrees it is possible for Iran to barter the necessary goods in return for the gas and electricity, the Central Bank of Iraq (CBI) “should cooperate in this regard“.

(Source: Tehran Times)

By John Lee.

The Arar border crossing between Saudi Arabia and Iraq will reportedly officially reopen in October.

It was closed in 1990 following Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait.

According to Gulf News, some pilgrims are currently being allowed to pass through the crossing to participate in next month’s Haj.

(Source: Gulf News)