Iraq’s oil production and exports have risen to their highest levels since the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion, the Oil Ministry said Monday.
The country’s exports reached 2.11 million barrels a day in March, while the total output stood at about 2.5 million barrels a day, said spokesman Assem Jihad. “The figures in May showed that we have succeeded in reaching the prewar levels both in production and exports.”
The Energy Information Administration, part of the U.S. Energy Department, estimated Iraqi production at about 2.6 million barrels a day in early 2003. Production tapered off just before the U.S.-led invasion, then dropped to below 1.5 million barrels a day, according to the group.
Iraq sits on the world’s third-largest proven petroleum reserves. But the industry is plagued by a lack of modern equipment and training after decades of U.N. sanctions, war and Saddam Hussein’s ruinous rule.
Nuclear inspectors to visit Syria site
The head of the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog agency surprised diplomats and arms control experts Monday by announcing that inspectors would visit Syria for two days to try to clear up the mystery of an alleged nuclear site destroyed in an Israeli air strike last year.
Mohamed ElBaradei, director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency told his board of governors that an inspection team would travel to Syria on June 22 to investigate the site.
Israeli warplanes struck the disputed Syrian site in September. Syrian officials have contended that Israel targeted nothing more than an unused military building.
Hitler wax display concerns mayor
Berlin’s mayor has expressed concern at Madame Tussauds’ plans to include Adolf Hitler among prominent Germans immortalized in wax at its new museum.
Klaus Wowereit has written a letter to the wax museum’s curators urging them to consider carefully whether to include the Nazi dictator and, if they still do, to be careful how they present him, mayoral spokesman Guenter Kolodziej said Monday.
“In the mayor’s view, he should not be shown as a cult figure,” Kolodziej said.
Madame Tussauds Berlin museum is scheduled to open July 9.
Museum spokeswoman Katrin Srumsdorf stressed that curators recognize Hitler needs to be treated with sensitivity. Unlike in London, where it stands along with major world leaders, Hitler’s likeness in Berlin will be hunched over a desk in a dimly lit bunker, she said.
“He will appear as an old, broken man, as he might have looked in the days just before he committed suicide,” Srumsdorf said.