By John Lee.

Companies are reportedly relocating from the Kurdistan Region to rest of Iraq in an effort to avoid taxes and customs duties which the Iraqi government charges on goods exported to southern Iraq.

According to Kurdish media network Rudaw, the Baghdad government considers goods produced in Iraqi Kurdistan to be foreign, and subject to import duties.

Mustafah Zubeir, of the KRG Ministry of Industry and Trade’s Directorate General of Industrial Development, is quoted as saying that about 100 factories have left Kurdistan for Baghdad to avoid this issue.

More here.

(Source: Rudaw)

By Harith Hasan, for Carnegie Middle East Center.

Adel Abdul-Mahdi was a compromise candidate as prime minister, that’s his major problem.

A few weeks before he was sworn in as Iraq’s new prime minister on October 21, ‘Adel ‘Abdul-Mahdi wrote a commentary saying he would refuse the position because “the right conditions for success [were] not in place.”

Even if the political factions supported him, he continued, they would soon reverse course once he started tackling serious problems in a way they deemed harmful to their interests.

Abdul-Mahdi specifically mentioned reforms such as moving Iraq away from a rentier to a productive economy, ending the country’s centralized governance system, fighting endemic corruption, developing public institutions, and promoting the rule of law.

Click here to read the full story.

(Source: Carnegie Middle East Center)

UNDP and Denmark Support Mid – Level Police Management Training in Iraq for Citizen Service Oriented Policing

On 11 November 2018 UNDP and Danish National Police started the first of a series of Mid-Level Police Management Training Courses for the Local Police in Iraq.

The courses are developed and delivered in close collaboration with the Ministry of Interior’s Training and Qualification Directorate. Each course duration is three weeks and, a total of 300 police officers from liberated and, other provinces in Iraq are expected to benefit from the training.

The key objectives of the course are to:

  • advance the implementation of the Local Police Road Map and, its reform priorities through leadership development at both national and provincial levels.
  • motivate police mid-level leadership to lead Iraqi police transformation from a fighting force to a public security service in post – ISIL Iraq with modern managerial techniques and, skills in-line with national and international standards.

The Danish Ambassador Gert Meinecke expressed, that he hopes “the training courses will contribute to successful transformation of the Local Police Service Road Map into tangible action on the ground”.

Wishing all participants a successful course the Danish National Police Commissioner, Jens Henrik Hoejbjerg said:

“Danish police have a lot to offer internationally. Therefore, I am pleased that Danish police officers will be responsible for the training of mid-level police managers for the Iraqi police. I have no doubt that we can contribute to the fact that both the Iraqi police and the Iraqi communities continue to move forward and develop”.

UNDP Acting Country Director Gerardo Noto added:

… improving Local Police Service is an identified key priority within the Government of Iraq’s ongoing Security Sector Reform Programme under the system priority Criminal Justice and Law Enforcement that is supporting by UNDP and International Partners.

“Therefore, leadership development is a key precursor in the overall implementation of the Government’s Security Sector Programme as a fundamental pillar for rule of law and building sustainable peaceful societies.”

UNDP is grateful to Denmark for its generous funding and, for the highly experienced police trainers to conduct the Mid – Level Management Courses to Iraqi Police.

(Source: UNDP)

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) took action today to target four Hizballah-affiliated individuals who lead and coordinate the group’s operational, intelligence, and financial activities in Iraq.

Specifically, OFAC designated Shibl Muhsin ‘Ubayd Al-Zaydi, Yusuf Hashim, Adnan Hussein Kawtharani, and Muhammad ‘Abd-Al-Hadi Farhat as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, which targets terrorists and those providing support to terrorists or acts of terrorism.

“Hizballah is a terrorist proxy for the Iranian regime that seeks to undermine Iraqi sovereignty and destabilize the Middle East.  We are targeting terror facilitators like Al-Zaydi who smuggle oil for Iran, raise funds for Hizballah, and send fighters to Syria for the IRGC-Qods Force on behalf of Qasem Soleimani,” said Sigal Mandelker, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

“Treasury’s concerted actions aim to deny Hizballah’s clandestine attempts to exploit Iraq to launder funds, procure weapons, train fighters, and collect intelligence as a proxy for Iran.  This administration will impose severe consequences on anyone assisting Hizballah and their global support networks, and those who engage in business relationships with these terrorists expose themselves to serious sanctions risk.”

These designations follow the signing into law on October 25, 2018, of the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Amendments Act of 2018, which reinforces the U.S. Government’s efforts to protect the international financial system by targeting Hizballah’s supporters, financial networks, and those that facilitate and enable its destabilizing activities worldwide.

Today’s designations specifically target individuals enabling Hizballah’s activities that undermine security and stability in Iraq, and carry significant risks for those attempting to conduct business with Hizballah globally.  Today’s action continues Treasury’s historic level of Hizballah-related designations, which have reached record numbers in 2018.

Treasury’s actions today again highlight the degree to which Hizballah operates as a clandestine, terrorist arm of the Iranian regime.  On November 5, 2018, in its largest ever single-day action targeting the Iranian regime, OFAC sanctioned over 700 individuals, entities, aircraft, and vessels.  This action completed the re-imposition of U.S. nuclear-related sanctions that were lifted or waived under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The individuals designated today are subject to secondary sanctions pursuant to the Hizballah Financial Sanctions Regulations, which implements the Hizballah International Financing Prevention Act of 2015.  Pursuant to this authority, OFAC can prohibit or impose strict conditions on the opening or maintaining in the United States of a correspondent account or a payable-through account by a foreign financial institution that knowingly facilitates a significant transaction for Hizballah.

All property and interests in property of those persons designated today that are subject to U.S. jurisdiction are now blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them.

Shibl Muhsin ‘Ubayd Al-Zaydi (Al-Zaydi)

Al-Zaydi was designated for acting for or on behalf of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps–Qods Force (IRGC-QF), and assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, Hizballah.

Al-Zaydi has served as a financial coordinator between the IRGC-QF and sectarian armed groups in Iraq and assisted in facilitating Iraqi investments on behalf of IRGC-QF Commander Qasem Soleimani, whom OFAC designated on October 11, 2011, for acting for or on behalf of the IRGC-QF.  Al-Zaydi has also coordinated the smuggling of oil from Iran on behalf of Iran, the smuggling of oil into Syria on behalf of Iran, and has sent Iraqi fighters to Syria allegedly at the IRGC-QF’s request.  Al-Zaydi has appeared publically with IRGC-QF Commander Qasem Soleimani at least four times.

Al-Zaydi has maintained close business ties to Hizballah officials and Hizballah financier Adham Tabaja (Tabaja).  These activities have included providing protection for companies in Iraq allegedly financed by Hizballah and facilitating the movement of Hizballah funding into Iraq for investments.  Al-Zaydi has also worked with senior Hizballah officials to transfer large sums of money to Lebanon to help fund Hizballah’s participation in the Syrian civil war.

Moreover, Al-Zaydi has transferred large sums of money to Tabaja and worked with OFAC-designated Muhammad Al-Mukhtar Kallas to facilitate the movement of bulk cash from Iraq to Lebanon on Tabaja’s behalf.  OFAC designated Tabaja on June 6, 2015, for acting for or on behalf of Hizballah.  Tabaja maintains direct ties to senior Hizballah officials and Hizballah’s operational component, the Islamic Jihad, and holds properties in Lebanon on behalf of the group.

In addition, Al-Zaydi is a partner and founder of Global Cleaners S.A.R.L., which OFAC designated on October 20, 2016, as an SDGT pursuant to E.O. 13224 for being owned or controlled by Tabaja.  Also, since its founding in 2014, Al-Zaydi has been the Secretary General of an Iran-aligned Iraqi sectarian armed group.  This armed group primarily operates in Iraq, but has also dispatched fighters to Syria, and its members have trained in Iran and with Hizballah in Lebanon.

Yusuf Hashim (Hashim)

Hashim was designated for acting for or on behalf of Hizballah.

Hashim oversees all Hizballah-related operational activities in Iraq and is in charge of protecting Hizballah interests in Iraq.  Additionally, Hashim arranges for the protection of Tabaja inside of Iraq.

Hashim has also managed Hizballah’s relations with sectarian armed groups in Iraq, including the coordination of the deployment of fighters to Syria.

Adnan Hussein Kawtharani (Kawtharani)

Kawtharani was designated for assisting in, sponsoring, or providing financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to or in support of, Hizballah.

Kawtharani facilitates business transactions for Hizballah inside Iraq and has attended meetings in Iraq with sectarian armed groups and Hizballah officials.  Kawtharani has also been involved in securing a significant source of funding for Hizballah, and has served as the right hand man for his brother and senior Hizballah member Muhammad Kawtharani, whom OFAC designated on August 22, 2013, pursuant to E.O. 13224, for being in charge of Hizballah’s Iraq activities and working on behalf of Hizballah leadership to promote the group’s interests in Iraq, including Hizballah efforts to provide training, funding, political, and logistical support to Iraqi sectarian armed groups.

Further, as of 2016, Kawtharani worked to obtain a weapons contract in order to raise funds for Hizballah fighters.

Kawtharani is also a partner in the company Global Cleaners S.A.R.L.

Muhammad ‘Abd-Al-Hadi Farhat (Farhat)

Farhat was designated for acting for or on behalf of Hizballah.

Farhat has been involved in advising sectarian armed groups in Iraq on behalf of Hizballah.  As of 2017, Farhat was tasked with collecting security and intelligence information in Iraq and subsequently providing reports to senior Hizballah and Iranian leadership.  Farhat has been involved in a project to analyze and report on the Iraqi security situation for Hizballah and the IRGC-QF.

View identifying information on the individuals designated today.

(Source: OFAC)

By John Lee.

Iraq reportedly wants to allow Russian-origin wheat to be bought in its state tenders to supply the country’s massive food rationing programme.

According to Reuters, the Trade Ministry will send a delegation to Russia before the end of the year to study the suitability of its wheat for Iraq’s needs.

Iraq needs between 4.5 million and five million tonnes of wheat annually, of which about two million tonnes is imported.

(Source: Reuters)

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

In Iraq, the toughest female competitors, best-equipped facilities and most experienced coaches are considered to be in the Kurdish-majority northern region:

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Citizen refutes allegations of the central bank governor in a primitive way

11/13/2018

Local – Kilkames Press; a citizen refuted, the allegations of the Iraqi Central Bank Agency, Ali Alaak, damage billions of dinars because of leakage of rainwater.

The citizen through a video in an experiment to the validity of the Iraqi currency and hardened in the water, where he put 250 dinars in the water for several hours without being damaged to the extent that leads to damage completely.

The governor of the Central Bank of Iraq agency, Ali Alaq, said during a meeting hosted by the House of Representatives, on Monday in response to a question on the causes of corruption of 12 billion dinars,

"The damage was before taking office when the coffers of the Rafidain Bank (government) to sink because of heavy rainfall In 2012 and caused damage to banknotes after the arrival of water to the stores. "

Al-Alaq explained that "the Central Bank is replacing currencies when exposed to any damage was also imposed a certain fine on the management of Rafidain Bank, which was reduced after considering what was spent and fate, especially that these securities outside the age of time.

He pointed out that "the central bank lost the cost of printing banknotes and it does not represent much, knowing that the amount was up to 7 billion dinars and a value much less than that and we regret an international certificate of cash management."

http://glgamesh.com/archives/21902

Citizen refutes allegations of the central bank governor in a primitive way

11/13/2018

Local – Kilkames Press; a citizen refuted, the allegations of the Iraqi Central Bank Agency, Ali Alaak, damage billions of dinars because of leakage of rainwater.

The citizen through a video in an experiment to the validity of the Iraqi currency and hardened in the water, where he put 250 dinars in the water for several hours without being damaged to the extent that leads to damage completely.

The governor of the Central Bank of Iraq agency, Ali Alaq, said during a meeting hosted by the House of Representatives, on Monday in response to a question on the causes of corruption of 12 billion dinars,

"The damage was before taking office when the coffers of the Rafidain Bank (government) to sink because of heavy rainfall In 2012 and caused damage to banknotes after the arrival of water to the stores. "

Al-Alaq explained that "the Central Bank is replacing currencies when exposed to any damage was also imposed a certain fine on the management of Rafidain Bank, which was reduced after considering what was spent and fate, especially that these securities outside the age of time.

He pointed out that "the central bank lost the cost of printing banknotes and it does not represent much, knowing that the amount was up to 7 billion dinars and a value much less than that and we regret an international certificate of cash management."

http://glgamesh.com/archives/21902

State law sets 23 bills to target their blocks in the Iraqi parliament
11/13/2018

The State of Law bloc announced what it described as the objectives of legislating laws in the Iraqi parliament, putting 23 draft laws within this framework.


Said deputies bloc at a news conference in the parliament, "We would like to take the Iraqi public opinion that the State of Law bloc has adopted a program of work of the bloc during the current legislative session includes specific targets and to achieve the aspirations of the citizens and consists of this program in two phases within a specific time frame:
the

first stage: the stage of legislation laws:
1. The draft law to address slums:
2. Parwq secretion of land and orchards law:
3. project merging ministries Law:
4. draft Law on health insurance:
5. project oil and gas Law and natural resources:
6. draft social insurance Act , as amended:
7 – Advisory Offices Law e :
8. Project Communications and Informatics Crimes Law:
9. Project of the Federal Court Act:
10. draft amendment of the Companies Act:
11. Draft FAO authority of the law:
12. Project of the Iraqi Maritime Authority Law:
13. Project Census Law:
14. draft amendment to the law of retirement Consolidated:
15. draft law criminalizing countries supporting terrorism:
16- bill of infrastructure:
17. draft Federal Council of Construction Law:
18. project capital Baghdad Law:
19. draft Union Law Council:
20. the draft national Commission for Nakheel Law:
21. Military Promotions Bill:
22. Draft Amendment to the Electoral Law:
Draft Amendment to the Law of Treaties and Conventions:


He added that the second stage will be the stage of follow-up laws and implementation of projects, including:


1 – follow-up implementation of the project of water Basra, which treats salinity and the delivery of potable water to citizens.


2 – Follow-up of the implementation of sewerage projects such as the large Diwaniya project and the Zubayr streams in the province of Basra (allocated amounts within the budget of 2018).


3 – the road of death link between the provinces of Maysan and Dhi Qar (allocated amounts within the budget in 2018) as well as follow-up implementation of the way FAO.


4- Construction of wastewater treatment plants in the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

https://www.sotaliraq.com/2018/11/13…-%D9%84%D9%83/