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Iraq Shuts Paper for Currency Story (Associated Press) AL reiterates Iraq's territorial integrity (Arabic News) Iran rules out normalisation of relations with Iraq (BBC Online) ******************** Iraq Shuts Paper for Currency Story By Leon Barkho, Associated Press Writer, Friday, May 7, 1999; 11:42 a.m. EDT BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) -- Iraq has closed a state-controlled newspaper, accusing it of false reporting for an article that caused the currency to plummet. The Al-Musawir al-Arabi newspaper quoted the Central Bank governor April 25 as saying he was going to issue larger denominations of currency because existing notes were virtually worthless. Iraq's largest bill is 250 dinars, or about 13 cents. After publication of the article, the dinar fell to its lowest value since Iraq started exporting oil under the U.N. oil-for-food program in 1996. President Saddam Hussein and the Cabinet decided Thursday night to close Al-Musawir al-Arabi for ``publishing a false report on the intention to issue a new banknote of a high value,'' the official Iraqi News Agency said. Central Bank Governor Issam Hwesih denied the report two days later, but this failed to allay market fears. At one point last week, the dinar fell to 2,250 to the dollar. The closure of Al-Musawir al-Arabi appeared to help the dinar Friday, as it rose to 2,080 to the dollar. U.N. trade sanctions imposed after Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait have crippled the economy. Before the invasion, $1 bought about three dinars on the black market. Money changers, speaking on condition of anonymity, told The Associated Press that Al-Musawir al-Arabi had been made a scapegoat. They blamed the dinar's fluctuations on the chaotic state of the economy and the inconsistencies in the government's financial policies. ******************** AL reiterates Iraq's territorial integrity Arabic News, Iraq, Politics, 5/7/99 Arab League Secretary General Esmat Abdul Meguid has asserted the desire of the AL to maintain Iraq's unity and territorial integrity and to oppose any attempt made to interfere in the internal affairs of Iraq. In a statement following his meeting on Thursday with Iraqi Minister of Justice Shabib al-Maliki, the AL chief reiterated the AL opposition to the no-fly zones imposed on the northern and southern parts of Iraq. He added that such an embargo is not based on international legitimacy resolutions. He indicated that the AL is in continued contact with the UN, the UN secretary general, the UN Security Council president and the decision-taking countries in order to lift the suffering and to reconsider already-taken measures as well as not to permit the return of UNSCOM chaired by Richard Butler in any form to Iraq. For its part, the Iraqi dailies issued on Thursday called on UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to work for lifting the embargo imposed on Iraq and not to be confined to calls to improve Iraq's humanitarian conditions. ******************** BBC Online, Saturday, May 8, 1999 Published at 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK Iran criticises Iraq on relations The Iranian foreign minister, Kamal Kharrazi, has ruled out normalisation of ties with Iraq at present. In an interview with an English language newspaper in Iran Kayhan Mr Kharrazi said there was no strong political will in Baghdad to resolve its problems with Iran. He said Tehran had taken steps for the normalisation of relations but a lot of obstacles remained. Correspondents point out that the two countries have not yet signed a peace treaty after their eight-year long war in the eighties, with the unknown fate of thousands of prisoners of war representing one of the main obstacles to an improvement in relations. ******************** -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To be removed/added, email email@example.com, NOT the whole list. Archived at http://linux.clare.cam.ac.uk/~saw27/casi/discuss.html