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In the Middle East, Saudi Arabia and the Islamic Republic of Iran are two countries that claim to leadership in the region. With a powerful resources and political potential these countries are the...

Iraq

26.12.2012

Thousands of Iraqi demonstrators massed again in the city of Ramadi in Sunni-dominated province west of the capital on Wednesday.

It was the third major protest in less than a week in Iraq's largest province of Anbar, once the heart of the deadly Sunni insurgency that erupted after the US -led invasion in 2003.

"This sit-in will remain open-ended until the demonstrators' demands are met, and until the injustice against ends," cleric Hamid al-Issawi told The Associated Press at the protest.

18.12.2012

Iraq's Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told Al Arabiya on Tuesday that President Jalal Talabani was not dead.

President Talabani a Kurd who has mediated among the country's Shiite, Sunni and Kurdish parties, was in hospital on Tuesday after suffering a stroke that left him in "critical but stable condition," government sources said.

Should Talabani be incapacitated, Iraq would lose an influential negotiator who often stepped in to ease tensions in the fragile power-sharing government and between the central government and the country's autonomous Kurdistan region.

18.12.2012

President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd who has been a pivotal mediator among Iraq's fractious Shi'ite, Sunni and Kurdish parties, was hospitalized in Baghdad because of a "health emergency", his office said on Tuesday, Reuters reported.

Talabani's office gave no further details of his medical condition, but a senior source in his Patriotic Union of Kurdistan or PUK party said the president, who is 79, was admitted to hospital for exhaustion.

"A specialized medical team is taking care of him and a report will be issued later," the statement from the presidential office said.

07.12.2012

The Kurdish autonomy of Iraq has reduced oil supplies to the central government on account of non-payment of debts to foreign companies operating on its territory. Ali Hussein Balou, an adviser to the Kurdish Ministry of Natural Resources made this statement, the Government of the Kurdish autonomy's website reported.

According to Balou, the Kurdish autonomy reduced supplies from 250,000 barrels per day to 100,000 barrels per day.

03.12.2012

Azerbaijan and Iraq have signed a memorandum of understanding in the field of youth and sports, Al-Sout al-Iraq newspaper said on Monday.

The memorandum was signed by Azerbaijani Youth and Sports Minister Azad Rahimov and his Iraqi counterpart Jasim Mohammad Jafari in Baghdad.

Rahimov made an official visit to Iraq on Dec. 1. During the visit, the Azerbaijani minister was accompanied by a delegation of young entrepreneurs.

Rahimov has also met with Iraqi Vice-President Khudair al-Khuzaie.

03.12.2012

Iran is planning to build a 500-megawatt power plant in Iraq, which will supply electricity to the country's southern cities of Najaf and Karbala, Press TV reported.

An official with Iran's Energy Ministry announced on Sunday that the first phase of the combined-cycle Heidariya power plant would also provide the holy Shia shrines in the country with free electricity.

Ebrahim Rahemi added that the first phase would be operational by next summer with the capacity of 163 megawatts (MW).

The official also announced that the 75 million-euro project was publicly funded.

26.11.2012

Since 2011, the international sanctions against Iran's oil and gas sector have intensified. This led to Iran, as the country that heavily relies on oil exports, to review its policies, and pay more attention to its non-oil sector.

Iran has mostly been earning revenue via its oil exports. In order to maintain its imports, the country needed to keep the exports going, so the revenue money could be used on imports.

Comparing Iran's overall export and import shows a positive trade balance, while if comparing the non-oil exports and imports, then the negative trade balance can be observed.

20.11.2012

Massoud Barzani, the leader of the regional administration in north of Iraq, said that they were eager for continuation of good relations with Turkey, Anadolu agency reported.

A statement by the the regional administration in north of Iraq said that Barzani received Turkish ambassador in Baghdad Yunus Demirer and consul general in Irbil Aydin Selcen.

Barzani and Demirer discussed Turkish-Iraqi relations and regional developments in their meeting.

13.11.2012

Iraq will become a key supplier to fast-growing Asian markets, mainly China, and the second-largest global exporter by the 2030, overtaking Russia, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said in its World Energy Outlook.

According to the IEA projections, oil output in Iraq will exceed 6 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2020 and will increase to more than 8 million bpd in 2035.

09.11.2012

Iraqi Parliament Speaker Osama al-Nujaifi was among the high level Iraqi dignitaries who participated in the Turkish Embassy's "Republic Day" reception in Baghdad, Anadolu agency reported.

Speaking to the Anadolu Agency (AA), the host of the reception, Turkish Ambassador in Baghdad Yunus Demirer said that tonight's reception was one that witnessed the highest level of participation by Iraqi officials in the past decade.