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Iraqi MP Responds to LaRouche Representative, Calls for Reconstruction Fund and Activation of China Agreement

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EIRNS—A member of the Iraqi Parliament, Mr. Haidar Al-Fuadi Al-Atabe, leader of the influential Al-Ata’a Shi’a bloc within the Council of Representatives (Parliament), issued two statements in the past two days in response to comments posted by the LaRouche Arabic Physical Economics School administrator, Hussein Askary, on the Al-Atabe Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/h.alatabe ). Al-Fuadi has been a “follower” of Askary’s Facebook page since the latter started a series of classes in September 2020 on the importance of reactivating the 2018 China-Iraq “oil for reconstruction” framework of cooperation, putting this matter in the context of teachings of LaRouche on economics.

That agreement was crushed in the color revolution that ensued as soon as the (now former) Prime Minister Adel Abdel-Mahdi returned from Beijing in late September 2019, and the chaos that ensued after the U.S. assassination of Major General Qasem Soleimani and Iraqi militia leader Abu Mahdi Al-Muhandis in Baghdad in January 2020.

Last Friday March 5, Al-Atabe posted a statement on his Facebook page calling for establishing a “sovereign wealth fund” to accumulate part of the oil revenues to future generations and manage the fluctuations in oil prices. However, his model was the Gulf countries’ sovereign wealth funds that are managed by British and U.S. consultants and law firms. Askary posted a comment warning against that, because the oil money of the Gulf SWFs is scattered all over the financial markets of the failing Western system. Instead, Askary stated that such a fund should exclusively be dedicated to infrastructure projects, and loans to private industry, agriculture and housing builders. On Saturday, Al-Atabe recorded this message from his car (https://www.facebook.com/100004789300299/videos/1899955680174057/) in which he stated that “the sovereign wealth fund should be exclusively dedicated to infrastructure projects, and loans to private industry, agriculture and housing builders.”

Askary had proposed to Al-Atabe, in private communication earlier, to design a Hamiltonian “national reconstruction and development bank” using a portion of the oil revenues as a seed capital. This is a similar way of financing to the China-Iraq “oil for reconstruction” agreement, whereby Iraq deposits the revenues of 100,000 barrels of oil sold daily to China in a special bank account in China, in which the accumulated sums would represent 15% of the capital of a fund that will be matched by 85% in loans from Chinese banks. The total capital would be US$10 billion, and the loans are guaranteed by the Chinese Export and Credit Insurance Corporation (Sinosure). Askary has argued that the Iraqi government use the same mechanism for a national bank under the Finance Ministry, in which even Iraqi citizens, corporations and private banks can deposit savings and buy bonds.

Today, Monday, Al-Atabe issued a second statement on the necessity of activating the China-Iraq agreement, listing its merits:

  • “1- Building cities and hospitals
  • 2- Building schools and universities
  • 3- Transportation development, paving and road construction
  • 4- Building the Faw Great Port.
  • 5- Moving the real sectors, industry, agriculture, tourism, and developing the energy sector
  • 6- Absorbing unemployment in large numbers
  • 7- Building healthy cities
  • 8- Building sports facilities

“Now I challenge the respected Prime Minister Kadhemi to take one step with the same provisions of the agreement with any country (other than China) if America blocks him from working with China.”

Mr. Al-Atabe has been among the few MPs who openly stated that the overthrow of Prime Minister Abdel-Mahdi was due to his activation of the China agreement and no other reason.

Askary has been calling on his Facebook “followers” to put pressure on their representatives to reactivate the agreement and establish the national bank, explaining in several classes what that implies for Iraq’s economy and future. The classes (all in Arabic) can be viewed on his page: https://www.facebook.com/hussein.askary/ [hus]

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