By John Lee.

Deceptive shipping practices are reportedly being used in an attempt to conceal cargoes of sanctioned Iranian fuel oil being shipped via the Iraqi port of Khor al-Zubair.

Writing in Lloyds List, Michelle Wiese Bockmann gives details of a network of shell companies running ‘dark’ tankers to transport the sanctioned fuel.

Click here to read the full article.

By John Hannah, for Foreign Policy. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq Needs Regime Change Again

The United States faces an increasingly urgent set of first-order policy questions in Iraq.

Spoiler alert: The answer is not Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, Iraq’s newly designated prime minister. A popular uprising might be.

Click here to read the full story.

From Middle East Monitor, under a Creative Commons licence. Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Iraq’s official anti-corruption agency stated in its latest annual report that it restored 2.84 trillion Iraqi dinars ($2.38 billion) to the Treasury in 2019.

The Federal Commission of Integrity added that it has utilised its relationships with other state watchdogs, and that it created a national strategy for fighting corruption in collaboration with the Federal Board of Supreme Audit.

According to the report, the commission examined and was involved in 26,163 notices and court cases in 2019, with 10,143 persons accused of corruption. Those included 50 officials who were government ministers or holding equivalent positions.

There were 931 court rulings in which 1,231 defendants were convicted of corruption. They included four ministers or officials at the same level.

(Source: Middle East Monitor)

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com

By Dr Renad Mansour, for Chatham House. Any opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

After Latest Turn, is Muqtada al-Sadr Losing Influence in Iraq?

The populist cleric has repositioned himself in Iraqi politics multiple times, but his recent shift against youth-led protestors may signal his decline as an autonomous political force.

Following the US strike on Qassem Solaimani and Abu Mehdi al-Muhandis, populist cleric Muqtada al-Sadr has violently cracked down on youth-led protests in Iraq.

His paramilitaries and ‘blue hats’ – supposedly created to protect protestors from state and allied parastatal security forces – sought to end the months-long demonstrations by attacking the places where protesters have camped since October. In Baghdad’s Tahrir Square, they successfully captured the famous Turkish restaurant which had become a symbol of Iraq’s ‘October revolution’.

Click here to read the full story.

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.

Who are Sadr’s Blue Hats in Iraq and what side are they on?

In the face of harsh criticism from religious authorities and the Iraqi public, cleric Muqtada al-Sadr called on his followers to retreat Feb. 8 from protests where they had clashed with anti-government demonstrators.

Sadr leads the Sadrist political current in Iraq and a group of followers among them called “Blue Hats.”

Click here to read the full article.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday (12 February 2020) that Allied ministers had reaffirmed their support to Iraq and agreed in principle to enhance NATOs training mission.

In the first instance, this will consist of taking on some of the Global Coalition’s current training activities.

Ministers also agreed to explore what more could be done, beyond this first step.

Read the Secretary General’s press conference here

(Source: NATO)

By Vanda Felbab-Brown, for Brookings Institution. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Iraq Business News.

Stuck in the middle: Iraq and the enduring conflict between United States and Iran

When the United States killed Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani on January 3, it also killed Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, a powerful Iraqi militia leader. The move critically destabilized U.S.-Iraq relations.

Last weekend’s rocket attacks on the U.S. embassy in Baghdad, which injured one person, and the 200,000-strong demonstration demanding the departure of U.S. military forces from Iraq, led by the anti-U.S. cleric-politician Muqtada al-Sadr, are merely some of the manifestations of this severe destabilization.

Although the United States and Iran managed to avoid an escalation to full-blown war — which would be very costly for both sides — a wide set of U.S. interests in Iraq has been seriously undermined, likely in a long-term way.

The full report can be read here.

GardaWorld, a global leader in comprehensive security and risk management, has made its weekly security report available to Iraq Business News readers.

Prepared by GardaWorld’s Risk Analysis Team in Iraq, this essential report includes short- and medium-term outlooks on the security situation, reports and commentary on recent significant events, and a detailed overview of developments across the country.

Please click here to download the latest report free of charge.

For more information on how GardaWorld’s services can support your business in Iraq, please contact Daniel Matthews, Senior Director Iraq, at daniel.matthews@garda.com