The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
News, 7-13/10/01 (2) IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS * Lorries carrying food continues to cross border from Turkey to Iraq * Iran Accuses Iraq of Sowing Discord in Iran-Arab Ties * Jordan asks Syria to hand over Iraqis * The First Iraqi ambassador in Bahrain since 1990 * Turkish concern over possibility of expanding its military operations to include Iraq MILITARY MATTERS * Iranian Soldiers Offer Grim Glimpse [of what chemical warfare is like] * US loses third Predator in Iraq * Allied planes strike Iraqi military targets CAMPAIGNING * Iraqis know what New Yorkers are suffering [Interview with Kathy Kelly] SCRAPING THE BARRELL OF SELF RIGHTEOUS INSENSITIVITY * Americans used as 'human shields' sue Saddam [Will anyone mention the odd fact that S.Hussein DIDNıT use them as human shields? or that the bombing started the moment the last of the hostages had been released?] INSIDE IRAQ * Sanctions and Religion Threaten Iraqi Brewery * More Iraqi children died in July, August because of imposed UN sanctions * The good life may be at stake in Iraq * Iran move closer to a place in the 2002 World Cup OIL * [Saudi former oil minister] Al-Yamani warns that attacking Iraq will increase oil prices * RBI nod for OVL's $5m in Iraqi block IRAQI/MIDDLE EAST-ARAB WORLD RELATIONS http://hoovnews.hoovers.com/fp.asp?layout=displaynews&doc_id=NR20011008670.2_3ff00002686b0def * Lorries carrying food continues to cross border from Turkey to Iraq Hoovers (Financial Times), 8th October 8, 2001 6:43pm Source: Anatolia news agency, Ankara, in English 1041 gmt 8 Oct 01 Habur, 8 October: Unal Cakici, the Silopi Head official said on Monday [8 October] that transit vehicles, apart from lorries carrying diesel oil, and tankers carrying fuel oil continues. Speaking to AA [Anatolia] correspondent, Cakici said passage of the lorries was stopped on 18 September 2001 after Iraqi government stopped giving of diesel oil that was given to northern part of Iraq. Cakici said return of the lorries in northern part of Iraq continued. Cakici said passage of tankers, carrying crude oil, continued, adding that²under the supervision of the UN, permission is given to the transit vehicles which carry food to Iraq. The situation is calm at the moment. Security measures are increased in passage of Turkish citizens to Iraq and northern part of Iraq² http://english.peopledaily.com.cn/200110/09/eng20011009_81805.html * Iran Accuses Iraq of Sowing Discord in Iran-Arab Ties Iran on Monday denounced Iraqi President Saddam Husseinıs remarks on Iran-Arab relations as sowing discord in ties between Iran and Arab countries. An Iraqi television station reported Sunday that Saddam told a cabinet meeting that Iran is the source of all enmity toward Arabs. Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hamid Reza Asefi rejected the assertions made by Saddam as ³baseless and racist.² He said that it seems that Iraqi officials are not aware of the amity and brotherhood that exist between the Iranians and Arabs and have needlessly tried to sow the seeds of discord between Iran and Arab countries. He stressed that Iran-Arab ties are based on brotherly relations and deep religious, historical and cultural ties. [.....] http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011009/2001100908.html * Jordan asks Syria to hand over Iraqis Arabic News, 10th October The Palestinian daily al-Quds (Jerusalem) published in the occupied Arab territories quoted well-informed sources that the specialized Jordanian security sides asked the Syrian government to be quick in handing over the Iraqis accused of killing the Kuwaiti citizen Majid al-Hazzal in September. These sources said that the Jordanian government hopes the two men to be handed over very soon after all investigations revealed that they had betrayed their friend ( Majid) who was known for his good manners, known by students he learnt with at the US Philadelphia university. These sources expressed hope that they will be returned back within few days to be tried before the " fair" Jordanian court. Worthy mentioning that the two accused men had stolen the victim's money he had and his related documents. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011011/2001101121.html * The First Iraqi ambassador in Bahrain since 1990 Arabic News, 11th October The ruler of Bahrain Sheikh Hamad Bin Issa al-Khaleifa in al-Manama on Wednesday received the credentials of Ali Sabti Muhammad al-Hadithi, as Iraq's first ambassador in Bahrain since Iraq's occupation of Kuwait in August 1990. Both Bahrain and Iraq had reduced the level of their diplomatic representation following the Gulf crisis. In 2000 the two countries re-opened their two embassies in Baghdad and al-Manama and in the few past months Bahrain permitted sending people's delegations and foodstuffs and medical aids to Baghdad. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011011/2001101106.html * Turkish concern over possibility of expanding its military operations to include Iraq Arabic News, 11th October The Turkish daily Radical said on Wednesday that Ankara, with its ruling parties and opposition, feel a common concern on the possibility that the US will expand the scale of its operations after Afghanistan to include Iraq in the list of the targets. For its part, the Turkish daily Joumhoreyat ( the republic) indicated Ankara's concern concerning the refugees which will arrive in it from north Iraq if Iraq will be bombarded. In this regard, the Turkish deputy prime minister said in an earlier statement that if the American operations will include Iraq, Turkey will not be able to stay out of this issue, adding that the American military operation aims at changing the ruling system in Afghanistan and establishing a new system, rather than arresting Osama Bin laden. MILITARY MATTERS http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/ap/20011008/wl/attacks_chemical_veterans_1.htmlMore...Monday October 8 2:15 AM ET * Iranian Soldiers Offer Grim Glimpse by BRIAN MURPHY Yahoo, 8th October TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Animals wobble and collapse. Birds drop lifeless from trees. People scratch wildly at blinded eyes and shudder with their dying gasps. Survivors stagger away, wheezing and vomiting blood. Itıs a scene the world dreads: terrorists striking with a chemical weapon. Itıs also the memory of Iranian soldiers still suffering from the grip of poison gas more than a dozen years after exposure on the battlefield. Even amid the horror of the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States, there are worries of something potentially worse - terrorists lashing out with chemical or biological agents. The worries are so acute that U.S. authorities temporarily grounded crop dusters after learning some of the hijackers inquired about the planes. Some Americans have rushed to buy gas masks and books on surviving a chemical attack. Books and research papers describe the immediate killing potential of chemical weapons. Thousands of Iranian veterans from the 1980-88 war with Iraq display the long-term consequences: chronic respiratory troubles, skin that wonıt heal, ravaged digestive systems and an agonizing slide toward death. ``He suffered so much. He never lived without pain. When I hear the words `chemical weapons,ı I have fire in my heart. Damn these things,ıı sobbed widow Golbas Negati, whose husband, Dawoud Taqavi, was exposed to mustard gas near the end of war and spent nearly half the years afterward in the hospital. He was buried Saturday, dead at 49. Iraq, backed by the West during the war, unleashed dozens of attacks using chemical weapons, according to international monitors. Two main Western-developed formulas were verified by U.N. investigators: mustard gas, an oily liquid first used in World War I whose vapor can remain deadly for days; and tabun, a nerve gas that causes violent convulsions and paralysis before death. Compared with the estimated 1 million killed or injured in the war, the toll from the chemical attacks were modest, partly because most Iranian forces had gas masks and other anti-gas equipment. Estimates of battlefield deaths range from several hundred to as many as 5,000. The blow to unprepared civilians has already been chronicled. In 1988, an estimated 5,000 Iraqi Kurds were killed in the town of Halabja when Saddam Husseinıs military bombed with poison gas. In 1995, in the Tokyo subway, 12 people died in a sarin nerve gas attack carried out by the Aum Shinrikyo cult. ``The greatest immediate danger arises from a non-state group - or even an individual - acquiring and using a nuclear, biological or chemical weapon,ıı U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said earlier this month. U.S. investigators say one of the key Sept. 11 hijackers met with an Iraqi intelligence agent earlier this year. Iraq says it dismantled its chemical and biological weapons program after the 1991 Persian Gulf War. But the former head of the U.N. weapons inspection team, Rolf Ekeus, said in 1997 that he believed Saddam sought to preserve a ``strategic capabilityıı of chemicals. ``The West invented and produced these dirty weapons and now they are scared of their own creation,ıı said Rezal Mohammadi, 52, caught in a mustard gas attack in 1985. He is now a patient on the ninth floor of Tehranıs Sasan Hospital, the main treatment center for chemical attack veterans. There, he uses an oxygen tank because of severe respiratory troubles and dabs antibiotic solution on chronic skin boils. Akbar Salimi, another ninth-floor patient, lightly touched the stitches closing an incision across his abdomen. It was the 32-year-oldıs third operation to stop intestinal bleeding that doctors attribute to mustard gas exposure in 1987. ``I saw animals - sheep, cows - dying all around me. Birds fell right from the trees,ıı he said. ``We were vomiting blood. It was horrible.ıı http://www.dawn.com/2001/10/11/int9.htm * US loses third Predator in Iraq Dawn, 11th October WASHINGTON, Oct 10: The US military lost another unmanned Predator surveillance aircraft on a mission over southern Iraq on Wednesday, the third such crash since Aug 27, the miliary's Central Command headquarters said. The announcement from command headquarters in Tampa, Florida, said the 3.2 million dollars air force RQ-1B drone disappeared and there was no indication whether it had malfunctioned or been shot down by Iraqi air defenses. A senior Western defense source earlier said in Kuwait that the Predator, one of several being used to monitor a "no-fly" zone over southern Iraq, was missing. Iraq state television also said it had shot down a spyplane in the south at 0842 GMT. Iraq also said previously that it had first downed one of the aircraft in August and again on Sept 11 - the day hijacked passenger planes slammed into landmarks in New York and Washington. The U.S. Defense Department confirmed that the two drones were missing, but said it could not confirm whether the crashes were because of malfunctions or ground fire. Pentagon officials have voiced concern about a dwindling number of Predators, which are also being used to monitor the situation in Afghanistan.-Reuters http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=2031207322 * Allied planes strike Iraqi military targets Times of India, 14th October WASHINGTON (AP): Allied warplanes attacked military installations in southern Iraq on Sunday in the third such attack this month. The planes used precision-guided weapons to hit a command and control target in response to continued threats to patrolling US and British pilots, said a statement from US Central Command which oversees the operation. Iraq said the last airstrike, on Oct. 3, killed two civilians. A damage assessment from Sinday's strikes has not been completed, the US statement said. [.....] CAMPAIGNING http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/chronicle/archive/2001/10/10/ED229374.DTL * Iraqis know what New Yorkers are suffering by Stephanie Salter San Francisco Chronice, 10th October KATHY KELLY was 37 days into a 40-day fast and vigil near the United Nations when terrorists brought down the World Trade Center towers and massacred 6,000 people. The co-founder of an organization working to end the U. N. Security Council's economic sanctions against Iraq, Kelly and her cohorts continued to fast but quietly finished the final three days of the vigil in a church parish in Brooklyn. They also began to move about downtown Manhattan. "People in this country have a terrific capacity for compassion. You saw it all over New York," said Kelly. "And the closer you were to the (disaster) site, the more you heard people say things like, 'I never want to see this happen to other people.' " In 13 trips that Kelly has made to Iraq in the past 11 years, she has heard hundreds of Iraqis express similar sentiments. One of the most recent was a young mother with whom Kelly sat just moments after the woman saw her 6-month- old son die. A dose of ordinary antibiotics would have saved the baby, but -- since the end of the Persian Gulf War -- there has been no such thing as ordinary medicine in Iraq. Or food. Or water. "The woman looked at me and said, 'I pray this will never happen to a mother in your country,' " said Kelly. "If people here knew as well as they know about JonBenet Ramsey what has happened in Iraq in the last 11 years, I don't think the economic sanctions would have survived the light of day." Since Sept. 11, we Americans have had to go out of our way to remain ignorant about Iraq and the rest of the Middle East. Many of the answers to "Why do they hate us so much?" have been the grim realities that Kelly has decried for years. Suddenly, the name of her group, Voices in the Wilderness, is a little less accurate. All sorts of Americans, not just college students and peaceniks, have begun to understand the pain and death that have been inflicted in our name. Perhaps chief among the transgressions are the deaths of a half-million Iraqi children that UNICEF ties directly to the short Persian Gulf War and the protracted economic sanctions: They have failed to oust Saddam Hussein but have eviscerated his nation's infrastructure. Worse, as recently declassified documents from the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency demonstrate, American officials knew this would be the outcome. As early as January 1991, the DIA predicted that damage to Iraqi water treatment plants could "lead to increased incidences, if not epidemics, of disease." By March 15 of that year, the DIA documents note that only 5 percent of Iraq's original water supply remained potable and that "there are no operational water and sewage treatment plants." Of the mounting cases of diarrhea and respiratory infections spreading through the country: "Children particularly have been affected by these diseases." Despite this and more unspeakable cruelty -- visited upon a besieged civilian population in the name of harming an entrenched despot -- Kelly says she has been amazed at the lack of bitterness toward the people of the United States. "Over and over, the Iraqis have told me, 'We know you're not your government. We know your people would never do this to us,' " she said. "Some of the people who can best understand what is being suffered by New Yorkers are these people who are themselves targeted civilians." To those who insist that the Iraqis could simply overthrow Hussein, Kelly says, get real: "There is not a thing they can do anymore than if they were on a hijacked plane." Later this month, Kelly will join the former U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Iraq, Hans von Sponeck, for a series of talks in the Bay Area. The schedule and venues can be found at www.peaceandjustice.org or by calling (650) 321-4464. As a current bumper sticker puts it: "Your ignorance is their victory." SCRAPING THE BARRELL OF SELF RIGHTEOUS INSENITIVITY http://news.24.com/News24/World/0,1113,2-10_1092185,00.html * Americans used as 'human shields' sue Saddam News 24 (South Africa), 10th October Washington (Sapa/AFP) - Some 150 Americans who say they were used as 'human shields' by Iraq during the 1991 Gulf War sued the regime of Saddam Hussein in a US federal court here on Tuesday, their lawyer said. The class action lawsuit is seeking tens of thousands of dollars in compensation for loss of basic human rights during the war triggered by Iraq's occupation of Kuwait. According to the lawsuit, the Iraqi president forced the plaintiffs to remain in Iraq after the August, 1990, invasion of Kuwait in order to use them as human shields to deter allied air strikes. The plaintiff's lawyer, Daniel Wolf, said it was the first time a lawsuit demanding compensation for human shields had been filed in the United States. The Iraqi government failed to send a representative to the hearing before US District Court Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, which is expected to last four days. The case is filed under US legislation allowing Americans to sue states accused by the United States of sponsoring terrorism, such as Iraq. Wolf said compensation should be paid out of Iraqi assets frozen in the United States since the Gulf War. INSIDE IRAQ http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20011008/lf/iraq_beer_dc_1.html * Sanctions and Religion Threaten Iraqi Brewery by Khaled Yacoub Oweis Reuters, 8th October BAGHDAD: The combination of water from the river Tigris, Bavarian hops and French malt has earned Iraqıs Ferida brewery a reputation that stretches well beyond the countryıs borders. ``If you go to Baghdad, drink Ferida lager and eat grilled fish. They were among the best I ever had,ıı says a senior Lebanese businessman who used to visit Iraq decades ago, when it was unburdened by embargo and external wars. But the aging Ferida brewery in the Zaafaranieh district southeast of Baghdad is fighting an uphill battle to maintain quality and sales in an economy damaged by years of U.N. sanctions and a society where the hold of religion has increased. Ferida, the countryıs oldest brewery which was established by Muslim and Christian industrialists in 1956, resumed production last month after stopping for months for what management described as ``technical reasons.ıı It was only the second stoppage in Feridaıs history. Production ceased for some time during the 1991 Gulf War (news - web sites) when the U.S.-led bombardment of oil refineries cut deliveries of the diesel that powers the breweryıs back-up generators. Ferida swiftly returned to capture more than half the domestic market. ``Feridaıs name still rings. It is regarded as a premium brand,ıı says a leading distributor, conceding that imported beers would have challenged the dominance of Ferida and two other local brands if they were more affordable. Iraqis appear to like the strong, if somewhat flat taste of Ferida, which is produced in refillable brown bottles. Ferida Red Label, a less strong and more expensive brew produced under license by Amman-based Middle East International Investment, is favored by foreigners. ``We were so proud when the Jordanian company approached us to buy the licensing rights. Imagine being able to export an Iraqi name under the conditions our industry is enduring,ıı says Ferida General Manager Salem Rassam. ``Officials were swift in approving the paperwork. Like us, they were ecstatic,ıı Rassam says. Red Label is produced under stringent specifications and it appears to show. ``Ferida Red is actually pretty good beer,ıı says a foreign reporter who could not tolerate the taste of bottled Ferida. An Iraqi drinker disagrees. ``We Iraqis want beer that has an immediate effect,ıı he says. ``I remember drinking a pack of Red Label when I was at a discotheque in Amman. It did nothing for me.ıı Culturally diverse Iraq has traditionally been one of the biggest beer markets in the Middle East. But hyper-inflation and economic collapse following the Gulf War helped bring down Iraqi beer consumption to an estimated 250,000 hectoliters annually compared to a peak of over one million in the mid-1980s. ``We used to buy Ferida in boxes but we cannot afford to drink any more,ıı said a government employee. ``The country also grew more religious,ıı he added, citing a ban on serving alcohol that drove bars and night clubs out of business. Some of the older Baghdad restaurants still serve beer and whiskey discreetly to preferred customers but by law alcohol can only be sold at licensed stores. Feridaıs refillable one-pint bottle sells for 650 dinars or about 32 cents, a sizable sum for most Iraqis. Sanabel and Shahrazad, the two other local brands in which Ferida has a stake, cost 500 dinars. A large array of imported beer is also available but costs more than double local beer. It includes Feridaıs Red Label cans, Amstel of the Netherlands and Laziza of Lebanon, which was among the first beers to be brewed in the Middle East in the early 1930s. Feridaıs Rassam says his company is comfortable with the competition. ``There are certain nuances of making beer that our competitors tend to ignore. We concentrate on keeping our lager golden, fresh and affordable,ıı says the German-educated chemist. But he admits that U.N. sanctions, which were imposed after Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, have prevented Ferida from importing equipment to switch to nonrefillable bottles and increasing efficiency. ``I would like to modernize the whole factory and make it less labor intensive,ıı says Rassam, who has managed to maintain supply lines through Turkey and Jordan despite the sanctions. ``Iraqis have been always broad-minded. I am positive that the market will rebound once sanctions are lifted,ıı he says. For now Rassam says that Ferida, one of the top performing companies on the thin Baghdad Paper Securities Market, remains profitable. Each of its 2,000 shareholders can expect to collect the usual gift with their dividend 12 bottles of Ferida. http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011009/2001100911.html * More Iraqi children died in July, August because of imposed UN sanctions Arabic News, 10th October The Iraqi daily al-Thawra ( the revolution ) issued on Monday said that 26107 Iraqis, mostly children died in July and August because of the economic sanctions imposed on the country. News reports quoted statistics of the Iraqi health ministry as saying that 15454 Iraqis including 8316 children under five year old died in July whereas 10653 including 7467 under five year old also died in August The statistics attributed the reason of the death to malnutrition, diarrhea and breathing diseases among children and high blood pressure, diabetic and cancers among others. Worthy mentioning that number of the Iraqis who died since imposing the economic sanctions on Iraq in August 1990 reached, according to statistics of the Iraqi ministry of health to 1, 543, 123 persons. http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/epaper/editions/thursday/news_b35ca343c68542cf0043.html * The good life may be at stake in Iraq by Larry Kaplow Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 11th October Baghdad, Iraq --- As Western stock exchanges were falling after the Sept. 11 attacks on America, Iraqi importer Faris Hadi faced an economic chill, too. The attacks spawned speculation among American officials that Iraq may have been involved in planning the terrorism. Suddenly, the prospects of another U.S. war on Iraq loomed large and Hadi's business prospects looked small. He canceled plans to import $160,000 worth of washing machines, vacuum cleaners and air conditioners from neighboring Jordan to sell in Iraq. In his modern office, under posters for Samsung computers, Hadi worries that America will try to tie the attacks to Iraq. That will mean air strikes, power outages, damaged homes, destroyed bridges and, putting it mildly, a steep decline in consumer confidence. "Right now, we are afraid," said Hadi, an English-speaking 60-year-old in a tidy necktie and sports jacket. "If they bomb the electricity and the oil refineries, our sales will go down to 5 percent. . . . When people are worried about such incidents, they keep their money in their pockets." Iraq had begun to show signs of recovery after the 1991 Gulf War and a decade of crippling U.N. economic sanctions. Steadily, the restrictions have been relaxed. The flow of goods and hard currency into Iraq was growing. Especially for the country's small middle class, a budding new way of life is at stake. Some entrepreneurs tote around cordless telephones now, operating at a static-filled range of 25 miles. Real cellphones --- at least the first 25,000 --- could be on the way in a year. Small businesses can get on the Internet, albeit a restricted version. And a BMW on the streets of Baghdad doesn't draw stares as it would have a couple years ago. But it could all disappear if America launches attacks or seeks to reimpose isolation on the country of about 24 million people. [.....] U.S. officials blame Hussein for contributing to his own people's poor state, by not making food and medicine as available as possible. But U.N. officials say the sheer scope of the constraints has helped reduce the quality of life in Iraq to dangerously low levels. One-fourth of Iraq's oil revenues go to compensating Kuwait and paying other war reparations from the Gulf War. Still, there had been pockets of prosperity and some hope among Iraqi business leaders. "You can see everything in the stores, things in much more variety than before the Gulf War," Hadi said. "Maybe, when things cool down, I will bring in 100 microwaves." http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2001/10/13/sports/iranwin&sec=sports * Iran move closer to a place in the 2002 World Cup The Star (Malaysia), 13th October TEHRAN: Iran defeated Iraq 2-1 yesterday in a World Cup qualifying match between bitter rivals both on and off the pitch, moving to the top of Asian Group A and considerably improving their chances for a berth in the 2002 Finals. Mehdi Mahdavikia put Iran 1-0 up in the 27th minute, before Qahtan Chathir equalised in the 52nd minute. Ali Karimi scored the winner for Iran in the 71st minute. The match was played a week after Iraqi President Saddam Hussein accused the Iranians of being behind Arab problems for centuries. Iran scoffed at Saddamıs remarks. The two neighbors fought an eight-year war that ended in 1988 with a UN-brokered cease-fire. About 1 million people died on both sides. Following Iranıs victory in the crucial qualifier, thousands of flags-waiving Iranian poured to the streets of Tehran, cheering the Croatian coach, Ciro Blazevic, who had promised to take the team to the World Cup. Iran lead Group A with 15 points from seven matches, a point ahead of Saudi Arabia. The winner will automatically advance to next yearıs Finals in Japan and South Korea. Iran opened aggressively in front of 100,000 spectators at the packed Azadi Stadium. In the 27th minute, Karimi sent a pass to Hamburg midfielder Mahdi Mahdavikia, whose long left-footed shot found the net. A rejuvenated Iraq equalised seven minutes after halftime through midfielder Qahtan Chathir but Karimi netted the winner from close range for Iran. AP OIL http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/011011/2001101110.html * Al-Yamani warns that attacking Iraq will increase oil prices Arabic News, 11th October Saudi former oil minister Zaki Yamani has warned that any American attack on Iraq will result in a grave crisis and will raise oil price above USD 30 per one barrel. News reports quoted al-Yamani as saying to the German weekly Die Tseit issued on Wednesday that if such an attacks will take place the Iraqi oil will disappear from the world market. Iraq produces 2.2 million barrels of oil every day. http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=851539466 * RBI nod for OVL's $5m in Iraqi block Times of India, 12th October NEW DELHI: The Reserve Bank of India has given ONGC Videsh, the overseas arm of Oil and Matural Gas Corporation, approval to invest $5 million in oil exploration block in Iraq. "RBI has accorded permission to invest $5 million out of the estimated development cost of $250 million in the Iraqi oil and gas exploration block No. 8," sources said here. The company is now preparing a composite proposal to seismic survey and tenders for the same are likely to be floated later this month, they said. OVL, along with Reliance and Algerian national oil company Sonatrach, would also finalise the technical report, draft heads of agreement and draft field contract by October 20 for participation in another Iraqi oil and gas field - Tuba. Besides the two blocks in Iraq, OVL is at present negotiating participation in 14-15 oil properties abroad, sources said, adding projects under consideration are in Algeria, Myanmar, Indonesia, Nepal, Libya, Iran, Russia, Venezuela, UAE, Sudan and Vietnam. For the Algerian oil block 242, OVL has already signed heads of agreement and a high-level team from the company would be visiting Sonatrach to make a presentation this month. ONGC, in consortia with Indian Oil Corporation and Oil India, has made a commercial bid for the Farsi oil block in Iran, sources added. OVL is also considering participation in a oil and gas block in Myanmar and negotiating with Indonesian national oil company Pertamina for participation in Aru-Langkat block, sources said. It is also negotiating participation in Texana block in Nepal and exploration block Tpao in Libya, sources said adding the company official would be visiting Libya this month for technical due diligence. In Russia, where OVL already has 20 per cent participating interest in Sakhlain-I oil and gas fields, the company is evaluating Atlantic Energy Resources's offer for development of a number of oil fields with proven oil reserves in Timon Pechora basin, sources said. Ovl is considering exploration block in lake maracaibo in venezuela while discussing participation in fujairah block in united arab emirates (uae). Energy minister of Algeria has offered OVL participation in deep water exploration block offshore Nigeria, offshore Tunisia and offshore Algeria, sources said adding in addition joint participation of OVL in a joint venture discovery of Sonatrach and Libyan National Oil Company was also under consideration. OVL also has before it the Algerian minister's proposal for participation along with Sonatrach for Talisman block in Sudan. Parallely, IOC has also sent a letter asking OVL to join hands with them for Talisman project, they said. OVL is expecting cash returns in October 2002 from the 45 per cent stake, worth $228 million, in blocks 6, 12-E and 19 in Man Con Son basin, offshore Vietnam, sources said adding OVL's share of profits from the $508-million gas venture would be of the order of Rs 270-300 crore by 2004, when the fields starts full scale commercial operations.( PTI ) -- ----------------------------------------------------------------------- This is a discussion list run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq For removal from list, email email@example.com CASI's website - www.casi.org.uk - includes an archive of all postings.