Trump meets Saleh on the sidelines of the Davos Forum

Trump meets Saleh on the sidelines of the Davos Forum

Baghdad / news – The President of the Republic, Barham Salih, met with US President Donald Trump on the sidelines of the Davos Forum in Switzerland.

A political source familiar with “Al-Ikhbaria” said, “President Barham Salih met with US President Donald Trump, on the sidelines of the Davos Forum in Switzerland.”

It is noteworthy that Saleh left on Tuesday to attend the “Davos” economic conference in Switzerland, where a number of world leaders, including US President Donald Trump, are scheduled to meet on the sidelines of the conference to discuss bilateral relations.

Ikhnews.com

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Shabandar: Maliki is an absolute evil … ruining the country and its people

Shabandar: Maliki is an absolute evil … ruining the country and its people

Baghdad / Al-Ghad Press: The Iraqi researcher and political writer, Ghaleb Al-Shabandar, sent a message to the leader of the Sadrist movement, Muqtada Al-Sadr, in which he expressed his fear of gloating over the Al-Sadr family. Al-Shabandar said in a tweet on Twitter, [...]The researcher and writer on Iraqi political affairs, Ghaleb Al-Shabandar, launched an attack on the leader of the State of Law coalition, Nuri al-Maliki.

Shabandar said in a tweet on “Twitter” that “Nuri al-Maliki is an absolute evil that believes in the Ali equation and my enemies, and the country and its people are ruined.”

“I know him well for decades and we lived together.”

Tasrebat.com

BGG ~ This source article was taken down… that didn’t last long.

I wonder how long before Al-Shabandar gets Epsteined?

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Iraq bank set to halt Iran gas transfers as US sanctions waiver expires

Iraq bank set to halt Iran gas transfers as US sanctions waiver expires

The Trade Bank of Iraq is expected to stop processing payments to Iran if US sanction exemptions expire next month, Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday. The bank is used by Iraq to pay for Iranian gas imports that are used to power the country’s electricity grids. About a third of Iraq’s electricity supply relies on Iran.

“We’ll stop. As simple as that,” the head of the bank, Faisal al-Haimus, told the news agency, adding that the bank will not pay for or deal with any Iranian entity over gas or electricity.

Why it matters: The statement comes amid escalating US-Iran tensions. In 2018, Washington ordered sanctions on Iran’s energy sector but has granted Iraq temporary waivers to continue Iranian imports over the last 15 months.

US sanctions against Iran have severely impacted Iranian energy exports and stopping payments from Iraq could cause further concerns. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said in December that Iran lost $200 billion from US sanctions and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei earlier this month said the country’s reliance on oil revenues needs to stop.

What’s next: Earlier this month, Iraq’s parliament passed a nonbinding resolution calling on the government to expel US troops from the country. Just over 5,000 US troops are in the country to train Iraqi security forces and cooperate in battling remaining Islamic State fighters. The vote followed a US drone strike near Baghdad airport that killed Qasem Soleimani, the Iranian major general and commander of Iran’s Quds Force, and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the deputy head of Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units. In response to the vote, US President Donald Trump threatened sanctions against Iraq “like they’ve never seen before” if American troops were forced to leave.

If Iraq complies with the sanctions, it could paralyze their electricity sector, which relies heavily on Iranian imports. However, if the country ignores the sanctions after the exemption expires, they could be hit with secondary sanctions, including restricted access to crucial US accounts. Washington is considering blocking Iraq’s access to a $35 billion US-based account where Baghdad holds its oil revenues, according to Agence France-Presse. This account contributes to 90% of the national budget.

Know more: Read White House correspondent Laura Rozen’s report on Iraqi President Barham Salih’s call for restraint after meeting with Trump in Davos today, and congressional correspondent Bryant Harris’ story on Senate Republicans’ support for the White House’s call for Iraq sanctions.

Al-monitor.com

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Rudaw English on Twitter

Rudaw English on Twitter

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Al-Khalidi calls Saleh to assign Allawi to form a government and refuse to give in and dictate

Al-Khalidi calls Saleh to assign Allawi to form a government and refuse to give in and dictate

Member of Parliament Muhammad Al-Khalidi called on President of the Republic Barham Salih to win the masses and not to bow to pressure and dictates by assigning Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi to form a government and leaving the final choice to the people’s representatives.

Al-Khalidi said in an interview with Alsumaria News, that “there are dialogues and meetings took place between many members of the House of Representatives today to talk about the latest developments in the political scene and obstacles facing the process of selecting and assigning a candidate for prime minister,” noting that “there is clear support and support from a large number Among the deputies are the positions of the candidate of National Representatives, Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi, and his refusal to submit to dictates and pressure from some to obtain narrow gains in exchange for passing it.

Al-Khalidi added, “There is a clear increase in the number of deputies supporting Allawi’s latest stance, and warnings of the dangers of continued procrastination and procrastination in resolving this thorny and dangerous file, especially in light of the popular escalation,” calling on the President of the Republic, “to end this controversy and take a position recorded by history and people in Implementation of the constitution and victory for the masses by meeting their demands to choose a non-dialectical and independent personality away from pressure, and that Allawi be commissioned immediately after returning from the Davos conference and throwing the ball at the stadium of the House of Representatives and representatives of the people to vote by giving him and his government confidence in it or not.

Alsumaria.tv

BGG ~ I’m not sure I agree with the premise here. Kahlidi is basically telling Saleh to assign Allawi to be the PM and let the Parliament vote yea or nay on his government… but we shall see. I have the idea Saleh wants to find a candidate the protesters can get behind.

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Rudaw English on Twitter

Rudaw English on Twitter

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Iraq protests swell with youth angry at slow pace of reform

Iraq protests swell with youth angry at slow pace of reform

BAGHDAD, Iraq (AFP) – Iraqi youth angry at their government’s glacial pace of reform ramped up their protests on Sunday, sealing streets with burning tyres and threatening further escalation unless their demands are met.

The rallies demanding an overhaul of the ruling system have rocked Shiite-majority parts of Iraq since October, but had thinned out in recent weeks amid rising Iran-US tensions.

Protesters had feared Iraq would be caught in the middle of the geopolitical storm and last Monday gave the government one week to make progress on reform pledges.

A day before the deadline expires, hundreds of angry young people descended on the main protest camp in Baghdad’s Tahrir Square as well as nearby Tayaran Square.

They burned tyres to block highways and bridges, turning back cars and causing traffic jams across the city.

At least 10 people including police officers were wounded when security forces tried to clear the sit-ins with tear gas and protesters responded by throwing rocks, medical and security sources told AFP.

“This is only the first escalation,” one protester with a scarf wrapped around his face told AFP, as smoke from the tyres turned the sky behind him a charcoal grey.

“We want to send a message to the government: Stop procrastinating! The people know what you’re doing,” he said, adding ominously: “Tomorrow the deadline ends, and then things could get totally of control.”

Protesters are demanding early elections based on a reformed voting law, a new prime minister to replace current caretaker premier Adil Abdul-Mahdi and that officials deemed corrupt be held to account.

Abdul-Mahdi resigned nearly two months ago, but political parties have thus far failed to agree on a successor and he has continued to run the government as a caretaker.

‘Deadline ends tonight’

Demonstrators have publicly rejected the names circulating as possible replacements and are furious that other sweeping reform measures have not been implemented.

“We began to escalate today because the government did not respond to our demands, notably forming an independent government that could save Iraq,” said Haydar Kadhim, a demonstrator in the southern protest hotspot of Nasiriya.

“Last Monday, we gave them a deadline of seven days. That deadline ends tonight,” Kadhim told AFP.

A fellow protester, 20-year-old university student Mohammad Kareem, said more escalation could come.

“We gave the government a timeframe to implement our demands, but it looks like it doesn’t care one bit,” he said.

“We will keep up our movement and keep escalating to confront this government, which continues to procrastinate,” Kareem told AFP.

Rallies also swelled in the cities of Kut, Diwaniyah and Amara, where most government offices, schools and universities have been shuttered for months.

In the holy city of Najaf, youth wrapped in checkered black-and-white scarves and carrying Iraqi flags lit tyres and began a sit-in on a main road leading to the capital.

Further the south in the oil-rich port city of Basra, students gathered in an ongoing strike in support of the rallies elsewhere.

Rival rallies

The protests are the largest and bloodiest grassroots movement in Iraq in decades, with nearly 460 people dead and over 25,000 wounded since they erupted on October 1.

While the violence at the protests themselves has dropped slightly, activists say they face an escalating campaign of intimidation, kidnapping and assassination attempts.

Young protesters are also apprehensive about a rival protest on January 24 organised by firebrand cleric Moqtada Sadr in order to pressure US forces to leave.

Last week, Sadr urged Iraqis to hold “a million-strong, peaceful, unified demonstration to condemn the American presence and its violations”.

Iraqi political figures have ramped up their calls for foreign forces — including some 5,200 US troops — to leave the country following a US drone strike that killed Iran’s revered Quds Force chief Qasem Soleimani and top Iraqi military official Abu Mahdi al-Mohandis.

Both were key brokers in Iraq’s political scene, which has been left reeling by their absence.

Iraq’s parliament voted on January 5 in favour of ousting foreign forces but the legal procedure for doing so remains murky.

Bases where US forces are stationed have been under a steady stream of rocket attacks for several months that have killed one American contractor and one Iraqi soldier.

Rudaw.net

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America is looking to deploy Patriot air defense missiles in Iraq

America is looking to deploy Patriot air defense missiles in Iraq

Baghdad / news: Today, Thursday, American media outlets suggested the deployment of Patriot air defense missiles in Iraq.

The media reported that “the Pentagon intends to enhance the security of its forces in the deployment of Patriot air defense systems in Iraq.”

She added, “This matter comes after American soldiers were lightly injured during the Iranian air attack on Ain al-Assad base in Anbar.”

Ikhnews.com

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Deputy: The coming hours will see the appointment of a non-controversial prime minister

Deputy: The coming hours will see the appointment of a non-controversial prime minister

Baghdad / Al-Akhbariya: Representative for Al-Hikma Star Sattar Al-Jabri revealed on Tuesday that the coming hours will witness the selection of a non-controversial figure for the prime minister, indicating that the President of the Republic Barham Salih will meet the American President with certainty.

Al-Jabri said in a televised statement, followed by “Al-Akhbaria”, that “the coming hours will witness the selection of a non-controversial figure for prime minister after reaching satisfactory solutions for all parties.”

He added, “Electronic armies target Parliament because of its stances towards the removal of the Americans and cannot be believed.”

He continued, “The President of the Republic will meet Trump at the Davos conference, and there will be no representative position against officials who will meet the Americans.”

Ikhnews.com

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