Iraq Oil Report's Daily Brief compiles the most important news and analysis about Iraq from around the web.

Iraq awards wastewater plant project

Randall Hackley reports for Bloomberg:

Iraq selected Passavant-Roediger GmbH, a subsidiary of Dubai-based Drake & Scull International (DSI) PJSC, to design and build a sludge treatment system for a wastewater plant in Kerbala.

The value of the contract using sludge digestion technology including energy recovery from the organic matter it treats and biogas generation is 86 million dirham ($23.4 million), the company said in a statement.

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Pentagon finds funding for Iraq mission

The Associated Press reports:

The Pentagon says it will be able to fund the training of Iraqi security forces for the next 90 days, even though Congress did not include money for the program in its temporary budget resolution that took effect Monday.

Pentagon press secretary George Little says $1.7 million will be used from a special combatant commanders initiative fund to continue the training. Officials say there are roughly 160 military personnel doing the training in Iraq.

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In Iraq, signs of rising Iranian clout

Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Lara Jakes report for the Associated Press:

After years of rising influence, a new sign of Iran’s presence in Iraq has reached the streets.

Thousands of signs can be seen depicting Iran’s supreme leader gently smiling on a population once mobilized against the Islamic republic in eight years of war.

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Iraq signs U.S. group to upgrade port

Sinan Salaheddin reports for the Associated Press:

Iraq on Tuesday signed a $14 million deal with a U.S. consortium to modernize a major port in the country's southern province of Basra in a move aimed at developing key infrastructure neglected during years of war and sanctions.

Under the 10-year agreement with a consortium led by North America Western Asia Holdings, the companies will invest in a new heavy-lift crane, as well as container-handling capabilities and build a modern container yard in the Maqal Port on Shatt al-Arab waterway.

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Iraq searches Syrian-bound Iranian plane

Sameer N. Yacoub reports for the Associated Press:

Iraqi authorities on Tuesday ordered an Iranian cargo plane heading to Syria to land in Baghdad for a search, then allowed the flight to proceed after no weapons were found.

The unprecedented move appeared to be an attempt to ease U.S. concerns that Iraq is allowing Iran to fly military supplies to help Syrian President Bashar Assad battle rebel forces in his country’s civil war.

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In Syrian shadow, Maliki juggles Iran, US

Patrick Markey and Suadad al-Salhy report for Reuters:

Iraq's move to inspect Iranian aircraft flying to Syria may appease the United States but also shows how crisis in Damascus has pushed Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki into an ever more delicate balancing act between his two main allies.

When he faced a parliamentary revolt this year, he could count on Tehran to pull strings of influence over restive fellow Shi'ite politicians in Iraq's majority community that saw the Iraqis quickly fall in line again behind the Shi'ite premier.

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G4S was warned of unstable guard

The BBC reports:

Security firm G4S was sent warnings not to employ an armed guard in Iraq just days before he murdered two colleagues, a BBC investigation has found.

Private security guard Paul McGuigan, from the Scottish Borders, was shot dead by Danny Fitzsimons in 2009 in Baghdad while on a protection contract. Another man, Australian Darren Hoare, was also killed.

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Iraq to inspect Iran’s Syria-bound planes

Zaid Sabah and Cotten Timberlake report for Bloomberg:

Iraq plans to randomly inspect Iranian airplanes flying to Syria, the Iraqi foreign minister, Hoshyar Zebari, told the al-Hayat newspaper in an interview.

“The government plans to bring planes down and conduct random inspections,” he was quoted as saying in an interview published yesterday by the London-based paper. “We have informed the Iranian officials to stop these flights and to stop arming the Syrian regime or fund any side in this crisis, we have affirmed that Iraq doesn’t accept to be a path for this, or its lands, skies and water to be used for arming or funding.”

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Monthly death toll doubles

Kareem Raheem reports for Reuters:

The death toll from militant attacks across Iraq doubled in September to 365, the highest toll for more than two years, with most of them killed in bomb attacks, according to government figures released on Monday.

The insurgents have launched one major assault a month since U.S. troops withdrew in December.

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Iraq bombings kill 26

The Associated Press reports:

Bombs striking Shiite neighborhoods, security forces and other targets across Iraq killed at least 26 people Sunday, officials said, in the latest instance of coordinated violence to take a sectarian bent and undermine confidence in the beleaguered government.

The deadliest attack came in the town of Taji, a former al Qaeda stronghold just north of Baghdad, where three explosive-rigged cars went off within minutes of each other. Police said eight people died and 28 were injured in the back-to-back blasts that began around 7:15 a.m.

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