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In a symbolic victory .. Iran dominates the Iraqi date market DinarDailyUpdates?bg=330099&fg=FFFFFF&anim=1

In a symbolic victory .. Iran dominates the Iraqi date market

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In a symbolic victory .. Iran dominates the Iraqi date market Empty In a symbolic victory .. Iran dominates the Iraqi date market

Post by RamblerNash Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:43 pm

In a symbolic victory .. Iran dominates the Iraqi date market

In a symbolic victory .. Iran dominates the Iraqi date market Download%20(2)

Twilight News

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

It is not difficult to find evidence that Iran is winning a proxy war against Saudi Arabia in Iraq.
There are the Iraqi Shiite armed factions who have sworn allegiance to Iran and politicians who owe credit to Tehran. There are Iranian companies that produce everything from yellow taxis in Baghdad to refrigerators and air conditioners that flood the streets. Then there are dates.
Iraq was once one of the largest producers of dates in the world. But production, damaged by years of neglect and war with Iran from 1980 to 1988, fell to the point where imports were banned for the time being to protect local industry.
But that did not stop the smugglers, especially the Iranian producers who are hiding the dates they produce under boxes of cardboard containing other fruit. Saudi Arabia is also a big producer, but the Iranians are monopolizing the market.
This is a blow to national dignity and some Iraqis see it as a symbol of growing Iranian control over their country.
"Hayek dates are the best in Iraq now," said Mehdi Haqiqat, who owns an Iranian date trade company with his name.
He said by telephone that three years ago, 20 percent of his company's dates were sold in Iraq. Now the figure has risen to more than 90 percent.
"The government is doing nothing," said Qusay Hamdan, a trader in a market outside Baghdad. Iran controls Iraqi politics and economy. "
Iraq is one of the multiple battlefields of proxy battles, while Iran and Saudi Arabia seek to have the upper hand in the Middle East.
The two powerful powers in the region support opposing parties to the war in Syria and Yemen. They also compete in Lebanon, where Iran exercises its influence through Hezbollah's political and military movement, which Saudi Arabia considers an enemy.
Their rivalry and conflicts in the region have deepened unrest in the Middle East and raised fears in Western capitals, including Washington, of a direct confrontation between Riyadh and Tehran that could drag their international allies.

Commercial battles
Although Iran fought a war against Iraq from 1980 to 1988, it has a big lead over Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh and Baghdad began taking steps toward improving relations only in 2015, after 25 years of turbulent relations that began with Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Iran has strengthened its influence in Iraq since the US-led invasion of Saddam Hussein in 2013, and the two countries are now close allies. Tehran has established relations by helping Baghdad defeat the Islamic state organization, a common enemy, and in crushing an attempt to independence by the Kurds in the Kurdistan Region.
Improved relations have allowed Iran to form relationships in many areas, including the business sector.
"It's the same trick," said a Western diplomat who has been closely following Iran for years. Help the Iraqis, then make sure they help you establish legitimate business ... ".
Iran is now Iraq's largest trading partner, with an annual trading volume of about $ 12 billion, according to Iraqi officials. The annual trade volume between Saudi Arabia and Iraq is about $ 6 billion.
Iran exports food, livestock, building materials and plastic products to Iraq. Local traders say Iranian food and cheap cars, including yellow taxis scattered across Baghdad, dominate Iraqi markets.
Quality is a crucial factor when it comes to dates, as well as marketing and packaging, says Mahdi al-Qaisi, deputy minister of agriculture.
"It's a way we can not do it yet," Qaisi told Reuters.

* No longer king of dates
Iraqi officials say it is impossible to know how many foreign dates are sold in Iraq because they are brought illegally. But it is clear that Iraq is no longer the king of dates.
At the height of its prosperity, Iraq produced three quarters of the world's dates. Iraq now accounts for about 5 percent of world production, the seventh largest producer according to the International Council of Nuts and Dried Fruits.
"Iranian dates have the lion's share among other types of dates that are marketed inside Iraq compared to Saudi, UAE and Kuwaiti dates, because Iran has many border crossings with Iraq in the Kurdistan regions and in the southern provinces," said Abbas al-Quraishi, adviser to the Union of Cooperative Agricultural Societies in Iraq.
The preference for Iraqis for Iranian dates was evident in a vast market outside Baghdad where traders were busy arranging colorful cardboard boxes full of Iranian dates in long rows. Some have abandoned selling local dates because they are making more profits than selling Iranian dates.
"We do not want the government to eliminate smuggling," said Mohamed Hamed, a trader in the market. We sell. Three years ago Iraqi dates were sold for three thousand dinars (2.5 dollars) per kilo. Currently sold for one thousand dinars because of competition with Iran. "
Nearby, there were boxes of dates from Saudi Arabia.
Many Iraqi farmers can hardly earn a living. In addition to shortages of water and pesticides, farmers must buy fuel to run generators to keep refrigerators operating during repeated power cuts in Iraq, an obstacle Iranian producers do not face.
"We suffer losses of up to 70 percent because of Iranian dates," said Adnan Jaber, 58, a farmer.
Other complaints relate to corruption and bureaucracy. Far from regional power struggles, they just want to survive.
"The government gives us water but that's not enough," said Maitham Kazem, 35. The pesticide aircraft comes once a year. "
Iraq is doing everything in its power to protect local industry, including support for farmers, but the country has "chosen the path of free markets," a Commerce Ministry spokesman said.
"The ministry wants citizens to be able to choose the best product and in some cases the local product is not the best," said ministry spokesman Mohamed Hanoun. "Farmers need to rely on themselves and the private sector.

* From the beginning of the backward
Saudi foreign policy has become more assertive since the rise of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who said he would protect the Kingdom of what he called Iran 's efforts to dominate the Muslim world.
Riyadh's attempts to increase its influence in Iraq have begun to bear fruit. Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), the petrochemical giant, plans to open an office in Iraq. The Saudi manufacturing and energy services company (TAQA) is opening an office in Iraq to boost the presence of the Saudi private sector in Iraq and expand investment.
The Saudi Agricultural Investment and Production Company (SALEC), an arm of the Saudi Public Investment Fund, is looking for investment opportunities in agricultural land. The two countries are looking at an initiative to link electricity and investments in the petrochemical sector and projects in the renewable energy and power generation sectors.
But Riyadh still has a long way to go to hit Tehran in Iraq.
Tehran has significant influence over the Shi'ite-led government, training and funding influential Shi'ite factions. Senior Iranian military commanders were seen on the battlefields of Iraq as they gave orders in the war against the Islamic state.
The agency said the Islamic Republic of Iran that Iraq and Iran signed contracts worth $ 7 billion in the field of technical engineering services. Iranian private sector investors set up a plant in 2014 that produces about 100 cars a day.
After helping Iran thwart Iraqi Kurds' bid for independence, Iraq is expected to start supplying crude oil for the first time from the Kirkuk fields of Iraq's Kurdistan region to a refinery in the Iranian city of Kermanshah.
An Iraqi oil official said initial shipments would begin soon and would initially amount to 40,000 bpd.


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