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News, 23-29/9/01 (2) IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Iraq: Iranian forces use missiles to attack mujahedin near Baghdad [Was this terrorismı?] * Rafsanjani says Iraq is blocking implementation of UN resolution ending imposed war [and some Iranian responses to Sept 11, including Ayatollah Khameini: "America does not have the competence to guide a global movement against terrorism, and...Iran will not participate in any move which is headed by the United States."] * Egyptian- Iraqi telecommunications * Israeli jets in Turkey to bombard Iraq * 4 Alleged Iraqi Spies Reportedly Arrested OIL * Iraq urges OPEC not to increase oil output * UN to keep tabs on alleged Iraq oil kickbacks [Question of shortening price setting period still rages] * Rilwanu Lukman is OPEC new president [with OPEC reactions to Sept 11 attacks] * War-risk cover hits Iraqi crude competitiveness [Adverse effects of Sept 11 attacks on Iraqi economy] * Shaky Foundations: The US in the Middle East [Short extract from interesting MERIP analysis outlining Iraqi strategy to become an economic power even under Oil for Food] IRAQI/UN RELATIONS * U.N. Approves $365 Million in Gulf War Reparations [The sorry tale continues. It includes Palestinians forced to flee Kuwait. By the Iraqis? Or by the Kuwaitis? And why does the article seem to suggest that there were only 1,200 Palestinians in Kuwait at the time of the invasion?] NO FLY ZONES * Iraq says it fired on US, British warplanes [Raids on Dohuk, Erbil and Nineveh on Monday] * Western Warplanes Hit Iraq Targets-US Spokesman [Raids on Sahban and Nassiryah, Thursday] INSIDE IRAQ * Iran's under-20 basketball team arrives in Iraq * Thai, Iraqi World Cup campaigns end NORTH IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN * Fearing strike, Iraq dismantles refineries, rations fuel [Economic effects of Iraqi security measures on the Kurdish autonomous zone] * PUK Kicks Islamic From Halabja , Iran Interferes IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20010923670.2 _e4630001b85b378b * IRAQ: IRANIAN FORCES USE MISSILES TO ATTACK MUJAHEDIN NEAR BAGHDAD. Hoover's (Financial Times), 23rd September Source: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Several Iraqis were wounded in a missile attack by Iranian forces on a Mujahedin base northeast of Baghdad and close to the Iranian border, AFP reported on 14 September. The Iraqi-backed Mujahedin-e Khalq said that five missiles were fired on the Mujahedin base in Jalaula, but added that the missiles missed their targets and hit a residential district instead, wounding several Iraqi civilians and damaging many houses and public buildings. Those who fired the missiles, they said, fled back into Iranian territory. The Mujahedin forces are believed to number 50,000. http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/05151805.htm * RAFSANJANI SAYS IRAQ IS BLOCKING IMPLEMENTATION OF UN RESOLUTION ENDING IMPOSED WAR Tehran, Sept 27, IRNA -- Former president and Chairman of the State Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, here Thursday said that the Iraqi regime has been resisting complete implementation of the UN ceasefire resolution which ended the 1980-1988 Iraqi imposed war against the Islamic Republic. He also criticized international organizations for "not taking a single step in favor of the country (Iran)," which has been declared entitled to war reparations by the United Nations for having been unjustly engaged in a disastrous war by the Iraqi Ba'ath regime. "To implement the resolution (598), we have either to use force or continue our negotiations via international channels. The use of force is not expedient and international organizations such as the Red Cross and the United Nations do not cooperate with us," he said. The Iraqi regime, Rafsanjani said, continues to ignore a provision of the UN resolution which demarcates the two countries' borders and, likewise, refuses to acknowledge Iran's rights to the Arvand Roud at the mouth of the Persian Gulf. It has also refused to release all Iranians held in Iraqi jails despite repeated calls and presentation of evidence by the Islamic Republic to show that some Iranian soldiers are still being held in Iraqi prisons, he said. The head of the Committee for Prisoners of War and Soldiers Missing in Action, Brigadier General Abdullah Najafi, said Wednesday that the Iraqi government has thus far refused to give an explanation on the fate of some 3,000 Iranian soldiers still held in Iraq. According to the official, Iran has unilaterally freed 12,000 Iraqi POWs in the course of the past seven years, while Iraq has during the same period freed merely 400 Iranian prisoners. Rafsanjani, talking to a group of university teachers on the anniversary of the Iraqi invasion, singled out the Islamic Republic's heightened "security and defense fortifications" as the biggest achievement of the country since after the war, adding, "Iran today is to meet its defensive needs without reliance on foreign powers." Iran's enemies, he added, are craving for another war with which to immerse the Islamic Republic. Rafsanjani referred to efforts by the West to find "pretexts" by which to implicate the Islamic Republic in the recent terror attacks on U.S. trade and defense centers, insisting that "Iran has always been opposed to terrorism." He urged the nation and the government to stay vigilant in the light of the current delicate situation prevailing in the world. Iran was quick to condemn the September 11 attacks that left over 6,000 people dead or missing at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon despite the fact that it does not have diplomatic ties with the United States since U.S. Embassy staff were held captive for 444 days in 1980 by Iranian revolutionary students. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Wednesday said that "the Islamic Republic of Iran will not provide any help to America or its allies in case they attack" the ruling Taliban militia in Afghanistan, accused by Washington of harboring the mastermind of September 11's attacks on U.S. trade and defense centers, Osama bin Laden. "America does not have the competence to guide a global movement against terrorism, and...Iran will not participate in any move which is headed by the United States," the leader said. Iran says the campaign against terrorism should be led by the United Nations. President Mohammad Khatami, in a meeting with the visiting EU delegation on Wednesday, called for a fundamental campaign against terrorism in which all world nations will stand prominent in the struggle. He said the international community is justified to deal with terrorists in a manner it sees appropriate provided there was sufficient evidence of the guilt of the suspect or suspects. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010928/2001092801.html * EGYPTIAN- IRAQI TELECOMMUNICATIONS Arabic News, 28th September The Iraqi minister of transport and communications Ahmad Murtada Ahmad has called on the Egyptian companies working the field of communications from both the private and public sectors to discuss prospects of cooperation with Baghdad in order to meet the country's need in these key fields. Upon opening the first fair for information, communication and transport information technology, organized by the Egyptian international market and Fairs commission in collaboration with the Iraqi ministries of transport and commerce, the Iraqi minister said that there is a great opportunity for the Egyptian companies to contract for deals in the areas of communications and transport with Iraq. The Iraqi minister said during the opening of the Fair which was also attended by the Iraqi minister of commerce Muhammad Mahdi saleh and the Egyptian charge de affairs in Baghdad, several industrialists and businessmen and heads of diplomatic missions accredited in Baghdad, that cooperation with Egypt in the field of transport is enlarging continuously, noting that the number of contracts so far signed with Egyptian companies to this effect reached 40 contracts at a cost of more than USD 700 million in the framework of the bilateral memorandum of understanding. For his part, the Iraqi minister of commerce Muhammad Mahdi Saleh praised the Egyptian exhibits. He said that this fair will contribute to developing relations between Egypt and Iraq and strengthen trade exchange in the future. He also indicated that his successful visit to Cairo and meetings with the Egyptian officials, foremost being the prime minister Atif Obeid would have a positive outcome during the coming phase. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/010928/2001092806.html * ISRAELI JETS IN TURKEY TO BOMBARD IRAQ Arabic News, 28th September The London- based " Foreign report" said in its Thursday's issue quoting Israeli military sources as saying that Israeli jet fighters have positioned in Turkey over the possibility of launching air strikes against Iraq as might be ordered by the Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon. The source said that Sharon might order the launching of such air strikes if Iraq would fire missiles against Israel as it did (Iraq) during the Gulf war (the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.). Worthy mentioning that Israel did not retaliate to the Iraqi missiles at the request of the US, but Sharon announced that the reply this time (If Iraq attacks Israel) will be without an early consultation with the US, according to " foreign report" which is established by " Janes" group which is specialized in defense issues. The magazine did not explain were the Israeli planes are stationed in Turkey. Worthy mentioning that Turkey and Israel signed a defense agreement that provides for permitting the two countries warplanes to station in the other. http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la 000077731sep28.story?coll=la%2Dheadlines%2Dnation * 4 ALLEGED IRAQI SPIES REPORTEDLY ARRESTED Los Angeles Times, 28th September Authorities in Kuwait have arrested alleged Iraqi intelligence agents trying to sneak into the country to survey U.S. targets in the Gulf Arab state, a newspaper reported. Al-Rai Al-Aam said four Iraqi agents were arrested in the last week in two separate incidents while they were trying to cross the closed border. It said two of the four confessed that their mission was to "survey American installations in Kuwait and a number of other military targets. And also recruit people and spread rumors." Kuwaiti officials were not immediately available to comment. [.....] OIL http://www.ireland.com/newspaper/breaking/2001/0925/breaking47.htm * IRAQ URGES OPEC NOT TO INCREASE OIL OUTPUT Irish Times (from AFP), 25th September Iraq has urged the organisation of leading oil exporters (OPEC) not to increase output. It said a decision to change quotas should be taken at the cartel's extraordinary meeting at the end of this year. "OPEC must not yield to external pressures aimed at increasing production and flooding the market for political and economic interests that are not those of its member states," an oil ministry spokesman told the INA news agency. He warned these pressures were "aimed at destabilising the market", which he urged OPEC to study in an "objective and fair way". The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC), which meets in Vienna tomorrow, faces a tough balancing act to set crude output amid highly volatile oil prices. Western countries, where stock markets and economies have been hit hard following the attacks in the US, are looking for OPEC to increase output to keep oil cheap and help businesses and economies recover. But OPEC's benchmark crude price has slumped below $21, following sharp declines in London and New York yesterday. Prices rebounded slightly today, recouping part of a heavy fall in the previous session, after OPEC's president, Algerian oil minister Mr Chakib Khelil, indicated a production cut could not be ruled out. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=27350 * UN TO KEEP TABS ON ALLEGED IRAQ OIL KICKBACKS Gulf News (from Reuters, United Nations), 25th September Oil experts told the UN Security Council yesterday that brokers were charging high premiums for Iraqi crude, money the United States and Britain say is funneled back to Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in violation of 11-year-old sanctions. But council members were still deadlocked on British-U.S. proposals to set oil prices for 15 days instead of 30 days, with Russia questioning where the UN-hired oil experts, called overseers, got their information, diplomats said. Washington and London argue that the 30-day period enables middlemen to charge a larger premium, part of which is then paid to Iraq as a kickback outside of the UN system, which was established to supervise the oil sales and set prices. The council, however, did agree for the first time to keep weekly tabs on Iraqi oil market prices, with regular briefings from the overseers to its Iraqi sanctions committee, which has not reached any agreement for years on substantive issues. "The overseers will brief the committee on a weekly basis on where the market price is compared to the official selling price," a diplomat said after closed-door council consultations. "Its the first agreement the committee has had in a long time." [.....] The oil experts told the council that Iraqi crude oil prices had averaged 30 cents a barrel below the true market value since fall 2000, much higher than the 5-cent-a-barrel maximum premium members say would be acceptable. "It was made clear that there were substantial excess premia being charged ... at least six times above the maximum considered justifiable for the Iraq market," said Britain's UN ambassador, Jeremy Greenstock. The overseers steered away from making political recommendations, but said a 15-day pricing period would not affect the world oil market and might reduce the scope for excess payments, diplomats at the meeting said. In addition to Russia, China has had doubts about the U.S.-British proposal. Its envoys on Monday did not raise objections, but said Beijing was still considering it, diplomats at the meeting reported. Twice in the last year, Iraq has suspended oil exports of about 2 million barrels daily over pricing issues, but it will be the buyers and not officials in Baghdad who are more likely to depress exports this time around, industry sources said. Alexander Kramar of Russia gave the main briefing to the council on behalf of the overseers, with his colleagues, Michel Tellings of the Netherlands and Morton Jensen of Denmark answering questions. http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/news2/nn834802.html * RILWANU LUKMAN IS OPEC NEW PRESIDENT by Yakubu Lawal Nigerian Guardian, 28th September Vienna, Austria: NIGERIA's Presidential Adviser on Petroleum and Energy Matters, Dr. Rilwanu Lukman, yesterday in Vienna, Austria, emerged the new president of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The tenure is one year, beginning from January 2002. The election by oil ministers of OPEC members also produced the Minister of Energy and Industry of Qatar, Mr. Abdullah bin Hamad Al Attiyah, as alternate president for the same period. The ministers reaffirmed their resolve to maintain the current crude output of 23,203,000 barrels per day. [.....] "It [the attack in the US] has left, in its wake, a trail of uncertainty, insecurity, fears, and hatred that extends across many communities, which had previously lived in harmony with each other for too long," said Kelil. The president said the incident has affected the industrial sector where over about 400,000 barrels per day across the world are currently under utilized. He noted that the crisis had led to re-emergence of fears about security of oil supply, stressing that such fears would have dire consequences for the oil market, if they are allowed to prevail and influence the decision making process. "They may also underline the considerable progress that has been made in producer-consumer relations over the past decades, which has been to the considerable benefit of the international oil market." Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's expressed willingness to cover any shortage in oil supply following the September 11 attacks on the United States has been blamed for the sharp decline of crude oil prices in the world market. Iraqi Oil Minister, Amir Muhammed Rasheed, who made the allegation said: "The Saudi minister has declared that his country is ready to pump an additional three million barrels per day," according to Iraqi television Wednesday. "The Saudi position is submissive and dependent on the United States," he said, adding that Naimi's remarks, just two days before an OPEC meeting in Vienna, caused oil prices to tumble by $3.50. "The United States pressed Saudi Arabia to disrupt the oil market and make prices volatile. The Saudi statement harms the economies of producing countries, particularly OPEC member states and Saudi Arabia," Rasheed said. [.....] Dr. Lukman, the new OPEC President, an Imperial College-trained engineer had once served as Nigeria's oil minister under President Ibrahim Babangida. He was subsequently appointed Secretary General of OPEC, the post he left to become President Obasanjo's adviser on petroleum. http://www.gulf-news.com/Articles/news.asp?ArticleID=27674 * WAR-RISK COVER HITS IRAQI CRUDE COMPETITIVENESS Gulf News, 29th September London, Reuters: Hikes to war-risk insurance that underwriters imposed from midnight on Wednesday for ships loading in the Arabian Gulf could make Iraqi crude increasingly uncompetitive, tanker brokers said yesterday. "The excitement of a fast strike on Afghanistan by the U.S. has died away and the war-risk surcharges are starting to look a bit more sensible," a leading tanker manager told Reuters earlier this week, but he said surcharges for Iraq alone had been kept high. "I heard from one VLCC owner that he had been quoted war-risk insurance today for loading in (Iraqi port Mina) Al Bakr of one per cent of the ship's insured value," a London tanker broker told Reuters yesterday. On a new $80 million VLCC this would equate to a war-risk surcharge of $900,000 for the one loading, which would add about 45 cents to the cost of a loaded barrel of Iraqi crude. If loading onto the average 12-year old VLCC, it would add 14 cents to each loaded barrel. "It's a lot of money and would certainly make Iraqi crude less competitive compared to other grades," said the broker. "A lot of people are trying to figure out how to make the numbers work again." Sales of October loading cargoes of Kirkuk crude have been slow, in part due to worries bout supply security, but also because of the crude's relative expense compared to benchmark Urals. London insurance brokers said that although all rates were being quoted by underwriters on an individual basis, one per cent sounded high. A list of war-risk surcharges obtained by Reuters last week showed war-risk of 0.5 per cent for the ports of Basrah, Umm Qasr and Mina Al Bakr. Iran was also put in the one per cent bracket in the week of the September 11 attacks, but surcharges were dropped to "insignificant levels" after British Foreign Secretary Jack Straw reported a successful visit to Tehran on Tuesday. War-risk surcharges for Saudi loading were indicatede at 0.5 per cent in the week after the attacks, but have now fallen back to less than 0.175 per cent, insurance brokers said. And large players can negotiate significant discounts. Shipowners have vehemently opposed the added costs, while also attempting to pass them on to charterers. "These very wide measures... gave the impression that underwriters were using the marine sector to claw back catastrophic losses sustained in other sectors," the International Chamber of Shipping said on Thursday. http://www.merip.org/mer/mer220/220_alkadiri.html * SHAKY FOUNDATIONS: THE US IN THE MIDDLE EAST by Raad Alkadiri (Raad Alkadiri is senior country risk analyst for the Petroleum Finance Company.) Middle East Report 220, Fall 2001 [.....] Despite their reluctance, and Iraq's subsequent decision to shift its investment offer from production-sharing agreements to less lucrative "buy-back" service contracts, most foreign oil companies maintain tremendous interest in investing in the country once the UN permits it. Even the most demure oil executive is unlikely to shun dealings with the existing Iraqi government if the embargo on oil investments is removed while it remains in power. The Iraqi oil sector stands to be the great "Klondike" of the early twenty-first century. This black gold rush, when it happens, will only reinforce Iraq's emerging position as a major trade hub in the Middle East. If Saddam Hussein's government is in place, oil development will contribute significantly to its survivalwhich is precisely why Washington and London oppose unfettered foreign investment in the Iraqi oil industry at present.(11) Merely the prospect of the opening has bolstered the Iraqi regime, providing it with an important political lifeline to the outside world over the past decade. Many countries are forced to ask themselves whether a change of regime will diminish the economic benefits that dealing with the present government presents, and whether they want to pay these costs. In purely economic terms, further normalizing relations with Baghdad, and cementing bilateral economic relations, is an attractive option. Saddam Hussein's regime does not like the Oil-for-Food program, but this has not stopped it from using the deal to its own political advantage, assisted of course by a willing clientele of trading partners. By targeting the award of import and export contracts, the regime has positioned Iraq as an important focus for regional trade and tied its own fortunes to local and international states. This has contributed to the survival of the regime, and ultimately to its gradual rehabilitation. Indeed, by "hard-wiring" itself to its neighbors via regional trade, the Iraqi government has made it much more difficult for the international community to impose sanctions on the country with impunity. Baghdad's opinion is important to a growing number of states. As the volume of trade has grown, so the costs of upsetting the Iraqi government have risen for these countries. The concern for many states in the Middle East is now not whether to deal with Baghdad, but rather whether Baghdad will deal with them. The Bush administration insists that smart sanctions are not dead. This autumn will witness another UK-led campaign to get UN Security Council approval for the new system; talks are already underway behind the scenes in New York. However, in the absence of some major long-term financial aid package to countries like Syria, Jordan and Turkey, their support for the sanctions package will remain lukewarm at best, and the likelihood that they will implement the new embargo is low. Washington's other alternativeregime changeis even less popular with the frontline states, for reasons of both regional public opinion and trade ties. In the longer term, unless Baghdad suspends its cooperation fully with the UN Oil-for-Food program, its economic magnetism is only likely to grow. The more the regime can turn Iraq's lucrative commercial and oil-producing potential into active trade relationships, the stronger its position will be. While the promise of the Iraqi Klondike may not lead to a full and formal lifting of sanctions, and may do little to ameliorate the humanitarian crisis in Iraq, it will certainly make efforts to contain the Iraqi regime more difficult. IRAQI/UN RELATIONS http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010927/wl/un_iraq_reparations_dc_1.html * U.N. APPROVES $365 MILLION IN GULF WAR REPARATIONS Yahoo, 27th September GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations Gulf War reparations body on Thursday approved payment of over $365 million to companies in 20 countries which proved they were damaged by Iraq's 1990 invasion of Kuwait, a statement said. Turkey's BOTAS Petroleum Pipeline Corporation is to receive the lion's share of the latest awards, $176.3 million, far less than the $1.052 billion it had claimed for revenue lost during the shutdown of its pipeline from Iraq, officials said. Some 239 Kuwaiti companies will share $174.1 million also approved by the Governing Council of the U.N. Compensation Commission (UNCC). The body, made up of the same 15 states that sit on the Security Council, ended a three-day meeting on Thursday. Other successful claimants with large awards included companies from Britain ($4.4 million), Germany ($2.8 million) and Israel ($2 million). The UNCC expects to make the next round of payments, including up to $5 million to each of the claimants in the latest batch, in November, officials told a news briefing. A lawyer representing the Palestinian observer mission to the United Nations made a plea on behalf of the 1,200 Palestinians who were working in Kuwait at the time of the invasion had been unable to file their claims on time. The Palestinians, most of whom now live in the Gaza Strip, had been ``caught by or between two occupations: the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories,'' the Jordan-based lawyer, Anis Kassim, said in a speech obtained by Reuters. Kassim told the Governing Council that he would supply additional information at the meeting set for December 11-13. U.N. sources said that they expected him to request a formal extension for the claimants. Individuals had until May 1998 to file claims for death of a close relative, personal injury or loss of property, or being forced to flee Kuwait. The latest batch of awards brings to $35.4 billion the amount of damages awarded by the Geneva-based fund, which has paid out $12.7 billion to governments so far for distribution. The UNCC is handling a total of $300 billion in claims, including nearly $80 billion in corporate claims, for damage directly due to Iraq's August 1990 invasion of Kuwait and its seven-month occupation of the oil-rich emirate. The UNCC currently receives 25 percent of its income from the U.N.'s oil-for-food program, which allows Iraq to sell a limited amount of oil. In the last two months it has been receiving between $220 million and $250 million per month. NO FLY ZONES http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1166855069 * IRAQ SAYS IT FIRED ON US, BRITISH WARPLANES Times of India, 24th September BAGHDAD ( AFP ): Iraq said it fired on US and British warplanes carrying out sorties Monday over the north of the country, forcing them to flee to Turkey. "Enemy fighters were forced to flee under Iraqi missile and anti-aircraft fire as they carried out raids on the provinces of Dohuk, Erbil and Niniveh," said a military spokesman, quoted by the official INA news agency. [.....] http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010927/ts/iraq_usa_strikes_dc_2.html * WESTERN WARPLANES HIT IRAQ TARGETS-US SPOKESMAN Yahoo, 27th September DUBAI (Reuters) - Western warplanes struck at air defense targets in Iraq's southern no-fly zone for the second time in a week on Thursday in the latest in a flurry of raids since late August, the U.S. military said. ``The strikes were in response to recent hostile threats by the Iraqis,'' a U.S. military spokesman in the Gulf said. He gave no details of the alleged threats. The strikes were carried out by coalition aircraft, a phrase normally used by the Pentagon to describe British and U.S. warplanes, using precision-guided munitions against anti-aircraft artillery and command and control sites at Shahban and Nassiryah, he said. The attack was the latest in a spate of raids by American and British warplanes since late August, with three last week alone, amid attempts by Iraq to shoot down aircraft patrolling no-fly zones in northern and southern Iraq. U.S. and British planes last hit southern Iraq on September 21. [.....] INSIDE IRAQ http://www.irna.com/newshtm/eng/01133412.htm * IRAN'S UNDER-20 BASKETBALL TEAM ARRIVES IN IRAQ Qasr-e Shirin, Kermanshah Prov., Sept 23, IRNA -- The under-20 basketball team of the country arrived in Iraq on Sunday to take part in the West Asian competitions. Talking to IRNA, Nosratollah Ja'farian said, "The Iranian team comprises 12 players to be accompanied by head, manager, two coaches, and a judge." The head of the team added: "The teams of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Yemen, and Iran will compete in the event." The first two teams of the tourney will cruise into the finals as the representatives of West Asia. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=68742372 * THAI, IRAQI WORLD CUP CAMPAIGNS END Times of India, 24th September BANGKOK ( AP ): Thailand and Iraq drew 1-1 in an Asian World Cup qualifying match on Saturday night, ending both teamsı hopes of securing a slot in the next yearıs tournament. In Group B, the United Arab Emirates kept their hopes for qualification alive, beating Uzbekistan 1-0. Iraq, who needed a victory to stay alive, fell behind in the 38th minute when Thailandıs Sutee Suksomkit scored the first goal of the match. Emad M Ridha equalised in the 63rd minute, but it was all Iraq could muster in front of the 20,000 Thai fans. Seven minutes before half-time, Tawan Sripan crossed from the right flank to Sutee, who headed it home. In the second-half, Ridha seized an opportunity during confusion in in front of the goal to jab the ball in. Thailand are in last place in the group with just three points from five matches, one behind Iraq, who have four points. Saudi Arabia lead Group A with 10 points from five matches, followed by Iran with eight. In Tashkent, Mohammed Omar scored an early goal to give the UAE a narrow 1-0 win over Uzbekistan. UAE midfielder Abdul Ahmed was knocked down by Uzbek defender Andrey Vlasichev several yards outside the penalty box. Omar fired in the free-kick. http://www.bahraintribune.com/busi.asp?Art_No=7767 * Soccer team off to Iraq Bahrain tribune, 26th September The Bahrain national football team will head for Baghdad to play Iraq in the second-leg game of the 2002 World Cup Asian Zone Qualifier on Friday. The team will be seen off at the airport by the President of the General Organisation for Youth and Sports (Goys), Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa, and other other sports officials. In a generous initiative, the team will be sending a cargo of medical equipment to Baghdad in support to the people in Iraq which underlines the strong relations which link both countries. The cargo was arranged in co-operation between the Goys and the Bahrain Crescent Society. The team will be accompanied by the societyıs representative, Mubarak Al Hadi. NORTH IRAQ/SOUTHERN KURDISTAN http://members.home.net/kurdistanobserver/21-9-01-ip-irq-dismantles-refineri s rations.html * FEARING STRIKE, IRAQ DISMANTLES REFINERIES, RATIONS FUEL Kurdistan Observer, 21st September Arbil, Iraq Press, Sep. 21 - The Iraqi authorities are rationing fuel and disassembling the countries refineries as the United States prepares for war in retaliation for the devastating terrorist attacks on New York and Washington. Fuel supplies to the semi-independent Kurdish enclave in northern Iraq have been slashed amid reports that essential refinery equipment was being removed and placed at unspecified locations. Bracing for war, the United States is building up troops in the Gulf region. Iraq has not officially condemned the attacks which are believed to have killed more than 6,000 people. Unidentified U.S. officials have implicated Iraqi Mukhabarat or intelligence in masterminding the attacks. Iraq has denied the charges. But Iraq is on the U.S. list of countries sponsoring international terrorism and the authorities fear the country could be a target. Meantime the authorities have intensified security measures on roads leading to Iraqi Kurdistan. They have also stopped supplying private companies with crude and products which they illegally sell to Turkey on government behalf. The measures have led to a rise of about 25 per cent in fuel and gas prices in cities in northern Iraq and a decrease in the number of Turkish trucks entering the country. Iraqis are also said to have started stockpiling goods particularly food and fuel. http://members.home.net/kurdistanobserver/26-9-01-ko-puk-takes-halabja.html * PUK KICKS ISLAMIC FROM HALABJA , IRAN INTERFERES Kurdistan Observer, 26th September The Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) has taken full control of Halabja town today following heavy fighting against the militia of Islamic Movement of Kurdistan (IMK), reported Kurdish sources in southern Kurdistan today. Many casualties have been reported on both sides. The IMK leader, Mula Ali Abdolaziz, and his group have joined the Jund Al-Islam forces in Sharazor areas. Halabja and its surrounding areas came under heavy bombardment by the Jund-Al-Islam following PUK control of the town. A delegation from Iran has arrived in Kurdistan to mediate between the two rivals, PUK and IMK. Both parties have had help and support of the Iranian government in the past. It is believed that Iran was pressuring the PUK leadership to allow the IMK leader and his group to return back to Halabja. It is not clear yet whether PUK party will agree with Iranian demands. Yesterday, 43 PUK fighters were killed by a new fundamentalist group called Jund Al-Islam near Tapa Drozna, a strategic location that overlooks the main road between Sulemaniya and Halabja. -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email firstname.lastname@example.org CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.