EU to support Iraq in US sanctions on Iran

By Emir es-Sadi

BAGHDAT (AA) – The European Union will support Iraq on consequences of U.S. sanctions on Iran, EU foreign policy chief said Friday.

Frederica Mogherini told Iraq’s Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi during a telephone call that the EU would help Baghdad "to deal with the consequences" of U.S. sanctions on Iran, according to a statement by Iraq’s prime minister’s office,.

Stating the EU supports Abdul-Mahdi and his government, Mogherini said the EU is ready to support Iraq in politics, finance and security, the statement added.

The U.S. has issued Iraq a 45-day waiver from U.S. sanctions on Iran for natural gas and electricity imports, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad announced Nov. 9.

Iraq, which is struggling with electricity outages and insufficient power generation, is reliant on its neighbor for natural gas imports for its power stations.

The second wave of renewed U.S. sanctions on OPEC's third largest exporter officially started Nov. 5, targeting Iran's energy, shipbuilding, shipping and financial sectors.

The Donald Trump administration also granted China, Greece, India, Turkey, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Taiwan a 180-day waiver for Iranian oil imports.

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Iraqi president to visit Iran on Saturday

By Ibrahim Saleh

AMMAN (AA) – Iraqi President Barham Salih is scheduled to visit Iran on Saturday for his first official visit to the country since assuming office last month.

According to the Iraqi Presidency, Salih, while in Iran, is expected to meet Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani.

The visit is reportedly aimed at discussing regional issues and means of enhancing bilateral ties.

On Sunday, Salih began a regional tour that has so far taken him to Kuwait, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates.

He is also slated to visit Saudi Arabia.

Salih is being accompanied on his tour by a delegation including several top government officials.

Iraq is seeking help in rebuilding the country following a destructive three-year conflict with the Daesh terrorist group.

Baghdad, Erbil agree to resume Kirkuk oil exports

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraq’s federal government and the Erbil-based Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) have reached a tentative agreement to resume oil exports from Iraq’s northern city of Kirkuk to Turkey’s Ceyhan seaport on the Mediterranean coast.

In a statement, Iraqi Oil Ministry spokesman Assem Jihad said the deal called for the resumption of exports at a rate of between 50,000 and 100,000 barrels per day.

Jihad did not say, however, when exactly the deal was set to go into effect.

According to officials, the export process will be run by Iraq’s government-run SOMO oil marketing company.

Oil extraction and pumping from Iraq’s northern Kirkuk province was halted in October of last year after Iraqi federal forces seized control of the oilfields from Peshmerga forces loyal to the KRG.

Prior to that, the region had exported up to 250,000 barrels per day to Ceyhan.

Iraq is OPEC's second largest oil producer after Saudi Arabia, producing roughly 4.5 million barrels per day.

Iraq delivers 3 tons of seized archive to Kuwait

By Amer al-Hassani

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraq handed over to Kuwait three tons of its radio and television archives seized during the Iraqi military invasion to Kuwait nearly 28 years ago, Baghdad announced on Wednesday.

"The archives were delivered in compliance with the UN Security Council resolutions, the latest of which called Iraq to hand over these archives to Kuwait," according to a Foreign Ministry statement.

The statement read that roughly 28 boxes of archive — weighing about three tons — were delivered.

"This comes in accordance of Iraq's commitment to the principles of good-neighborliness with the State of Kuwait as well as implementation of the Security Council resolutions," the statement quoted the Foreign Ministry's Undersecretary Hazim al-Yusufi as saying.

Saddam Hussein's regime seized such archives during his invasion of Kuwait in 1990, where Iraqi forces stayed for months before they were forced to leave under an international military campaign known as the "First Gulf War", which caused total rupture of relations between the two countries.

Baghdad and Kuwait resumed their relations in 2003 following the overthrow of the former Iraqi regime as a result of the U.S. occupation to the country.

14 Daesh terrorists nabbed in northern Iraq, army says

By Serhad Shakir

NINEVEH, Iraq (AA) – At least 14 members of the Daesh terrorist group were arrested in a security sweep carried out across Iraq’s northern Nineveh province, according to a statement released by the Iraqi army.

The arrests, the army said, were based on intelligence reports indicating that Daesh terrorists were holed up in a village near Nineveh’s Badush region.

The sweep was carried out by a joint force including security personnel and the Hashd al-Shaabi (a largely Shia fighting force affiliated with the Iraqi army), along with intelligence officers associated with the Iraqi Defense Ministry.

According to the army, the 14 arrested individuals had been part of a Daesh “sleeper cell”, members of which had fought the Iraqi army during the country’s three-year conflict with the terrorist group (2014-2017).

Arrest warrants had reportedly been issued earlier for the 14 wanted individuals, who have since been referred to the relevant authorities for prosecution.

After the Iraqi army recaptured the city of Mosul (which Daesh had declared its regional “capital”) late last year, officials in Baghdad had said that the group’s military presence in the country had been all but destroyed.

Nevertheless, the army continues to mount sporadic operations against the group’s lingering presence in northern Iraq.

Gunmen raid home, kill 9 in Iraq’s Anbar

By Amer al-Hassani

BAGHDAD (AA) – Nine people were killed late Monday when unidentified gunmen raided a house in Iraq’s western province of Anbar, an Iraqi military officer said.

The attackers believed to be from Daesh terrorist group stormed the house of a Hashd al-Shaabi fighter in eastern Ramadi, the provincial capital, Major Jamal al-Halbusi told Anadolu Agency.

The assailants who disguised in military uniforms killed nine people, including the fighter and a tribal chief, and injured three others.

“Three of the victims were brothers, including the chief of Abu Mari tribe, who were hosted by the Hashd al-Shaabi fighter,” al-Halbusi added.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack.

Last year, officials in Baghdad declared that Daesh's military presence in Iraq had been all but dismantled after a three-year war.

However, from time to time, Iraqi officials announce operations against Daesh-affiliated "sleeper cells" in certain parts of the country.

Daesh kidnaps, executes 2 in Iraq

By Ali Mukarrem Garip

KIRKUK, Iraq (AA) – Daesh terrorists executed a civilian and a member of the Iraqi security forces in this northern province, local police said on Tuesday.

The victims were kidnapped from villages in the south of the province, with the civilian allegedly providing Iraqi authorities with intelligence on the region, according to a police spokesman. The security officer was executed by gunfire.

Last year, officials in Baghdad declared Daesh's military presence in Iraq all but dismantled because of operations backed by the U.S.-led International alliance.

From time to time, however, Iraqi officials announce operations against Daesh-affiliated "sleeper cells" in certain parts of the country.

Iraq president visits UAE as part of Gulf tour

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraqi President Barham Salih left Kuwait on Monday en route to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) on the second leg of a Gulf tour, according to a presidential statement.

The Gulf tour is the first by the new Iraqi president since he took office last month.

The Iraqi Presidency said the visits to Kuwait and the UAE came upon official invitations from the leaders of the two states.

On Sunday, Salih held talks with Kuwait’s emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to discuss ways of bolstering relations between the two neighbors.

Since the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003, the Gulf countries have been maintaining cautious ties with Baghdad because of its close relations with Iran.

Iraq seeks support to reconstruct the country, especially areas affect by the war against Daesh terrorist group between 2014 and 2017.

Under the former regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq had invaded Kuwait in 1990 before being forced out by a U.S.-led international coalition.

Iraqi president flies to Kuwait on first Gulf tour

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraqi President Barham Salih headed to Kuwait on Sunday as part of his first Gulf tour since taking office last month, according to a presidential statement.

The tour will also include the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Iraqi Presidency said Saturday the visit aims at "establishing good-neighborliness, economic, development integration and joint cultural advancement to serve the peoples of the region".

During his visit, the Iraqi president will discuss ways of boosting bilateral relations to build strong ties with Iraq’s Arab and Gulf neighbors, the statement said.

Since the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003, the Gulf countries have been maintaining cautious ties with Baghdad because of its close relations with Iran.

Iraq seeks support to reconstruct the country, especially areas affect by the war against Daesh terrorist group between 2014 and 2017.

Under the former regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq had invaded Kuwait in 1990 before being forced out by a U.S.-led international coalition.

Iraqi president to visit Kuwait Sunday

By Ibrahim Saleh

BAGHDAD (AA) – Iraqi President Barham Salih will visit Kuwait on Sunday as part of his first Gulf tour since taking office last month, according to a presidential statement.

The tour will also include the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The visit aims at "establishing good-neighborliness, economic, development integration and joint cultural advancement to serve the peoples of the region," the statement said.

During his visit, the Iraqi president will discuss ways of boosting bilateral relations to build strong ties with Iraq’s Arab and Gulf neighbors, the statement said.

Since the fall of the former Iraqi regime in 2003, the Gulf countries have been maintaining cautious ties with Baghdad because of its close relations with Iran.

Iraq seeks support to reconstruct the country, especially areas affect by the war against Daesh terrorist group between 2014 and 2017.

Under the former regime of Saddam Hussein, Iraq had invaded Kuwait in 1990 before being forced out by a U.S.-led international coalition.