The Baghdad Post presents to its readers the latest news updates and breaking news today in Iraq.
Ex-governor Al-Turaihi appeals against sacking decision
Karbala provincial council has decided to dismiss governor Aqil Al-Turaihi for “corruption.”
The office of ex-governor of the Karbala province said an appeal has been submitted against a decision by the provincial council of Karbala to sack Aqil Al-Turaihi for “corruption.”
Al-Turaihi, a member of Iraq’s Islamic Dawa Party, led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, has served as Karbala governor since June of 2013.
“The decision violated a set of codes and we trust the judiciary will be just,” a statement by Turaihi’s office said on Friday.
The provincial council has voted to remove the governor from his post for a number of financial and administrative violations.
The council held an interrogation session last Tuesday to question Al-Turaihi regarding neglect, abuse of authority and corruption charges, which he did not attend.
The ex-governor was also assigned with overseeing the implementation of all service projects carried out in the province.
Iraq urges Iran to respect JCPOA nuclear deal
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ali al-Hakim on Friday called upon the Iranian administration to respect the nuclear accord as Tehran warned it would “shift away” from certain commitments.
The minister said in press remarks that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) inked by Iran in 2015 along with Russia, China, Germany, Britain, and the US is a “good deal.”
According to the nuclear deal, the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency is tasked with regularly carrying out inspections of declared facilities in Iran, such as uranium mines and centrifuge workshops, for up to 25 years.
The purpose of the agreement was to ensure Iran is not holding undeclared stocks of nuclear material and is not developing uranium past a certain level.
“We encourage the Iranian government to stick to the JCPOA and stick to the spirit of the agreement and continue with it,” he told reporters in Oslo during a press briefing at a conference on combating sexual violence during humanitarian crises.
Already strained relations between the US and Iran have worsened in recent weeks, months after a second round of US sanctions in Nov. 2018 came into effect, targeting the Iranian energy and financial sectors.
“The last thing we need is another conflict in the area. We've already had a lot of conflicts in the area,” Hakim lamented.
“I don't think anybody wants $200 per barrel of oil coming soon,” he added.
Iraq has said it is prepared to help de-escalate the situation by playing the role of mediator.
Iraq refuses to be used as base to attack other countries: Najaf Imam
Friday prayers Imam in Najaf Sadr al-Din Al-Qabanji strongly affirmed that Iraq refuses foreign occupation or dealing with its lands as a base to assault neighboring countries.
Al-Qabanji further said that Iraq welcomes the visit of Iran’s Foreign Minister in Iraq and Iraq’s mediation between the United States and Iran in an attempt to ease the building tensions.
“Let Iraq be a barrier against a war that would bring destruction to the whole region,” Al-Qabanji added.
Tension has been boiling among the United States and Iran especially after arocket was fired into the Iraqi capital’s heavily fortified Green Zone Sunday night, landing less than a mile from the sprawling U.S. Embassy.
The attack came among growing tension across the Arabian Gulf after the White House ordered warships and bombers to the region earlier this month to Iran’s threats.
It was the first such attack since September, when three mortar shells landed in an abandoned lot inside the Green Zone.
Orange stripped of stake in Iraq’s Korek Telecom
An administrative order from Iraq’s Communications and Media Commission has stripped France’s Orange SA of its stake in wireless operator Korek and handed it to a group of local investors.
The order transferred the 44% stake in Korek owned jointly by Orange and Kuwaiti logistics company Agility Public Warehousing Co. to three investors including Korek’s managing director, Sirwan Barzani.
The decision marks the latest twist in Orange’s troubled foray into Iraq, which became a magnet for foreign investment in the years following the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein.
The venture was one of several moves by European phone carriers into riskier business environments to seek out growth as markets closer to home matured, according to Bloomberg.
Orange and Agility bought the Korek stake in 2011 and invested $810 million in the business. Then in 2014 the regulator declared the original contract invalid, saying the companies had failed to honor their commitments on spending and network building.
The decision set off legal disputes that have dragged on for years.
Barzani now holds 75% of Korek, with the two other investors holding the rest, according to the regulator’s order.
Barzani, one of Iraq’s most powerful businessmen and a nephew of the Kurdish region’s former president Massoud Barzani, defended the regulator’s decision, saying it had been upheld by Iraqi courts.
“As a result of the implementation of the Iraqi telecom regulator’s decision, I have been left to deal with Korek’s debt burden,” he said in a statement.
Release of Kirkuk ex-governor damages Interpol's trust for 10 yrs: MP
Parliamentary integrity committee member Alia Nassif said on Friday that the release of former Kirkuk governor arrested earlier in Beirut, according to some reports, has affected the Interpol's confidence in the Iraqi judiciary for at least 10 years.
Great efforts have been made to establish the Interpol's confidence in the decisions of the Iraqi judiciary. These efforts have resulted in handing over several wanted persons, including Falah al-Sudani.
However, "the intervention that took place in the case of former governor of Kirkuk (Najmaldin Karim) blew all previous efforts, returned us to square one , and made all efforts to combat corruption and pursue it at any place fade," Nassif added.
A source revealed a high-level mediation by the Kurdistan Democratic Party to release the former governor, who was arrested by the security authority at the Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport, according to orders from Interpol.