CandyKisses:  Iranian ambassador in Baghdad denies smuggling dollars to his country

Baghdad – Iraq today:

Iranian Ambassador Mohammed Kazem Al Sadiq denied allegations about the smuggling of dollars to his country, indicating that the dollar crisis in Iraq aims to hit the government of Mohammed Shia Sudani.

Al-Sadiq said in a televised interview that “Iraqi cooperation on the border is very good and there is no support from Baghdad for any parties opposed to Iran.”

He added that “the dollar exchange rate crisis in Iraq was supported by the United States and carries with it the embarrassment of the government of Mohammed Shia Sudani,” noting that “talk about smuggling dollars to Iran is a lie intended to thwart the Iraqi-Iranian rapprochement in all fields and that the counter-media is the one who promotes the lie.

He pointed out that “Iranian-Iraqi cooperation in the field of energy is still in place, as Tehran is working to provide Baghdad with 1200,10 megawatts of electricity and 4000 million cubic meters of gas, which generates <>,<> megawatts, and that the biggest problem facing the two parties is that it is not possible to obtain money directly because of unjust US sanctions.”

CandyKisses:  Government Directive to Implement Procedures for Recovering Iraq’s Looted Funds

Baghdad – Mawazine News
The Parliamentary Integrity Committee confirmed on Saturday the government’s direction to implement measures in the coming days to recover looted funds from Iraq, while noting that Activating the law of where did you get this? Those awaiting legislation will support the prosecution of the corrupt.

A member of the parliamentary integrity, Duha Al-Qusayr, told the official agency, followed by / Mawazine News/, “The draft law on the recovery of Iraq’s assets is still in its first steps, which is Good and positive movement in the right direction and course correction considering that these steps were not concrete and not noticeable before.”

She added, “The House of Representatives conducted the first reading of the law and now a committee Parliamentary integrity is in the process of being completed and laying solid foundations that enable the state to protect these money and its return back to Iraq.”

“Some countries refrain from cooperating on this file and may have interests Especially related to these funds and inevitably this will reflect negatively on their situation Economic”, stressing, that “the Integrity Committee with legal procedures that stipulate It has the constitution, and in the coming days there will be procedures for the central government in Actual follow-up by the regulatory authorities.”

She pointed out that “the principle of accountability still exists, and the Integrity Committee is working on it, In addition to the Integrity Commission, which has begun to take its proper and correct steps towards the path who drew her to the issue of fighting corruption.”

“We have a lot of laws in the Integrity Committee that have been asked for before. The Integrity Commission has a law, where did you get this?, and now it is being prepared and studied to take its role in legislation and supports the work of the Integrity Commission.”

She pointed out, “Activating the law of where did you get this? The threshold will be decisive The issue of combating corruption and prosecuting the corrupt, whether inside or outside Iraq.”


Tishwash:  from Iraq’s news

A foreign report: The Saudi-American agreement on oil in exchange for security is threatened with collapse

The Saudi-Russian oil alliance has the potential to cause all kinds of problems for the US economy — and even for President Joe Biden’s re-election campaign. OPEC+’s decision this month to cut crude production, for the second time since Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia last summer seeking to boost production, may be just the beginning.

Just three years ago, when disagreements broke out between the oil giants of OPEC+, the United States found itself playing the role of peacemaker. Bloomberg points out that it now looks like their goal.

The April 2 announcement sent oil prices up about $5 a barrel. OPEC’s forecasts show that the cuts will add to the supply shortage later this year. That means inflation will be higher, and recession risks greater than they would otherwise be—because consumers who spend more on energy will have less money for other things.

More important, however, is what the OPEC+ movement says about the likely course of oil prices over the coming years.

In a world of shifting geopolitical alliances, Saudi Arabia is moving away from Washington’s orbit.

The Saudis set oil production levels in coordination with Russia.

When they wanted to de-escalate tensions with regional rival Iran, they turned to China to broker a deal — while cutting the United States out of the loop.

In other words, Western influence over the oil cartel is at its lowest point in decades.

And OPEC+ members have their own priorities, from the ambitious plans of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to reinvent his economy, to Putin’s victory in Ukraine. Any extra revenue they get from charging more for oil is good.

Asked about US concerns that OPEC+ has twice chosen to cut production since President Biden’s visit to Saudi Arabia, a State Department spokesperson said the administration is focused on lowering domestic energy prices and ensuring US energy security.

Meanwhile, the threat of competition from US shale oil fields, which had been a deterrent to price hikes in the past, has receded. And while there is a global effort to reduce fossil fuel use — and higher prices will accelerate that effort — last year’s drilling rush shows that a ‘carbon-neutral economy’ remains more of a long-term aspiration than a short-term driver.

For the global economy, a decrease in the supply of oil and a rise in prices is bad news. Major exporters are the big gainers, of course. For importers, like most European countries, more expensive energy is a double whammy — it’s hurting growth even as inflation rises.

For decades, the “oil for security agreement” between the United States and Saudi Arabia has been a pillar of the energy market. Now it is wobbly.

The agreement, symbolized by the 1945 meeting between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and King Abdulaziz bin Saud aboard an American ship in the Suez Canal (photo), gave the United States access to Saudi oil in exchange for ensuring the kingdom’s security. But the charter is no longer what it was before.

In 2018, Washington Post columnist and Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in Istanbul.

In 2019, Biden – then a presidential candidate – threatened to turn Saudi Arabia into a “pariah state” and halt arms sales.

In 2021, early in his presidency, Biden released an intelligence report assessing that Crown Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, was responsible for Khashoggi’s murder.

In October 2022, OPEC+ cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day — less than three months after Biden traveled to Riyadh seeking the increase. The White House criticized the move as “short-sighted”.

Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed last month to restore diplomatic relations in a deal brokered by China and signed in Beijing.

The Saudi government has also agreed to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization – a group that includes China and Russia and is seen as a rival to Western institutions – as a “dialogue member”.

In the aftermath of the April 2 move, Saudi officials said it was motivated by national priorities rather than any diplomatic agenda.

Muhammad al-Sabban, a former adviser to the Saudi Ministry of Oil, said, according to what was reported by Asharq Al-Awsat, that “OPEC + has succeeded now and in the past in stabilizing oil markets, and contrary to the claims of Western and industrialized countries, this has nothing to do with politics.” Newspaper.

In the past, OPEC+ has often been fractured: It wanted high prices, but was afraid it would attract more competition, particularly from US shale. But the dilemma hardly exists now.

Rising wages and inflation in the United States have made oil shale more expensive to produce, slowing production growth. Companies give priority to distributing profits to shareholders rather than investing them in expanding production.

Saudi oil is cheap to extract. The kingdom only needs prices between $50 and $55 a barrel to finance its imports and offset remittance outflows. But it commands a $75-$80 higher price tag to balance the budget—and even that doesn’t tell the whole story.

Saudi Arabia has a costly social contract with its citizens, promising prosperity in exchange for political acquiescence. To keep its side of the bargain, the government needs to invest in its non-oil industries – which employ the most Saudis. Petrodollars pay that bill   link

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