Researcher Shatha Khalil *
After the economic, technological and scientific blockade on Iraq in the nineties, two orbits are remained , dedicated to Iraq by the International Telecommunication Union, one of which is of little benefit (orbit 50) and the other is of great commercial interest because it contains important commercial frequencies such as Ka Kands and Ku bands, which is the orbit 65.45 and degrees close to it .
After 2003, despite the sectarian fighting and the difficult circumstances experienced by Iraq, it tried to catch up with the technology and information, like the rest of the world and especially that the world lives in the era of technological progress and globalization, and technology has become a measure of power for those who own it.
Israel plans to acquire orbit and Iraq does not preserve its rights…
Israel wanted to get the orbit of Iraq, close to 65 to seize Iraq’s important commercial frequencies – Ka bands and Ku bands. .
Iraq learned the intention of Israel by the Iraqi delegation, which attends annual and periodic conferences of the International Telecommunication Union, where Israel was the second country registered after Iraq on this orbit (and Iraq did not take actual actions on the ground such as contracting with international companies to build the satellite and space rocket companies that carry the satellite and put it in its orbit, Israel can launch its satellite and take over the orbit of Iraq formally and legally for the failure of Iraq to exploit the orbit allocated by the International Telecommunication Union).
Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi , Full story:
When the former Minister of Communications (Muhammad Tawfiq Allawi) learned of the intention of Israel , he sent a delegation to the International Telecommunication Satellite organization to negotiate with it and with international companies to build satellites, meanwhile Intelsat satellite ( Iraq was one of the founders of it in the sixties and seventies of the last century and then turned later to a company for the private sector and six million dollars remained for the interest of Iraq where the company can not pay in cash, but can pay as services) contacted the Iraqi delegation and offered to sell the satellite in its last life
(2 to 4 years), which can be turned into Iraq’s orbit. 65 , thus Iraq can prevent Israel from taking over the orbit of Iraq , and during this period, it can build and launch its satellite, and in this case Iraq does not need to pay one dollar, but this service is provided to it by the company in return for the existence of a debt on the company of Intelsat for the benefit of Iraq, which can not pay in cash, but only services and this applies to this service.
Allawi called for an expanded meeting in the Ministry of Communications, which included technical staff in the field of satellites in the Ministry of Communications and technical and administrative personnel of the Communications Commission as well as a global expert specializing in satellites from outside Iraq.
Following this wide-ranging meeting, the consensus was to move forward with the option of INTELSAT to keep the orbit of Iraq from being seized by Israel.
Allawi put forward this matter (the agreement with Intelsat) in the Council of ministers and in the presence of cadres from the ministry of Communications and the Communications Authority, the Council of Ministers unanimously approved the proposal of the former Minister of Communications and a resolution of the Council of Ministers No. (493) for 2011 was issued and direction for the Ministry of Communications to sign the agreement with the company of Intelsat.
At the time Allawi appointed Amir Bayati, technical deputy of the Minister of Communications, Chairman of the Satellite Committee and directed him to sign the agreement with the company of Intelsat based on the resolution of the Council of Ministers mentioned above.
Minister of Communications resigned from his post a few months later, and the post of Minister of Communications was assumed by Torhan al-Mufti as an Acting Minister of Communications and the opinion body (Haya al-Rai) of the Ministry of Communications was met and decided to cancel all the projects and contracts and decisions taken by former Minister of Communications Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, including Council of Ministers Resolution No. (493) of the year 2011 noting that the opinion body ( Haya al-Rai) is not legally entitled to cancel the resolution of the Council of Ministers, but this decision should be canceled by the Council of Ministers itself.
The members of the opinion board (Haya al-Rai) were divided into two groups, a majority with no sign of the agreement with the company Intelsat, and a minority with the agreement with the company Intelsat to keep the orbit of Iraq from being seized by Israel, and the tragic decision was taken based on the opinion of the majority.
The majority, which was with the failure to sign the agreement with Intelsat, they are three categories:
A category that does not know the consequences of non-signing, headed by Mr. Torhan Mufti, Acting Minister of Communications.
A corrupt class driven by hatred towards the former minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, who stopped their thefts and can not hear any achievement of the Minister Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, so they are with the cancellation of all projects and decisions approved by the former minister.
The most corrupt category knows the consequences of not signing in full but has taken such a decision, which is against the interests of Iraq in full, and for the benefit of Israel in full, and the real and hidden reasons of this category in the adoption of this tragic decision are not known.
On the impact of this decision and this reluctance and the lack of acquisition of Iraq its orbit throughout the agreement with the Intelsat as well as the failure of Iraq to inform the International Telecommunication Union about its intention to launch a satellite within a specific timeframe (which confirms the intended intention of the Iraqi side to abandon its orbit for the benefit of Israel) , Israel has launched its AMOS-4 satellite for the orbit 65 , thus Iraq has lost its right to get a commercial orbit of a satellite for Iraq for an indefinite period of time.
And Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi confirms , the losses suffered by Iraq:
• Iraq has lost its full right as a fait accompli even if Israel is an aggressor, Iraq can not use this orbit within the most important commercial frequencies , Ku band in the first class and Ka band in the second .
Allawi confirms that id we entered the site of the ITU, we would find that the orbit of 65 belongs to the Israeli satellite Amos-4, which means that the orbits can not be used on a distance of two degrees from both sides of this orbit at these frequencies, between 63 degrees east and 67 degrees east, and the Iraqi orbit 65.45 East lies within this area.
• States and companies, upon request for a given orbit, orbit is allocated after approval on the file submitted for a period of seven years, after which the State loses its rights in orbit.
• Allawi pointed out , when I was minister, I directed the technical delegation of the International Telecommunication Union to open the files of the satellites on the orbits 65.45 and 50 East, and the files were already opened in early 2012 meaning that the rights of Iraq has ended not only at the level of 65.45 east, but lost our rights even in orbit 50 in the east at the beginning of 2019, and here Iraq can renew demand over the orbit of 50 and open a new file, but there is no benefit and can not open a file over the orbit 65.45 for the survival of the Israeli satellite during the next seven years in the orbit of 65 east.
Allawi said that we should not only buy one expired satellite, but we should buy two successive satellites at the end of their lives, even if the price of the second satellite is 20 million dollars or more, because the satellite of Intelsat ,that was in the intention of buying it , it was not known exactly how long it will remain ( Between two to four years), while the construction and establishment of a satellite by Iraq takes time between two to three years from the signing of the contract until the launch and put it on track.
,This means that the orbit is likely to remain vacant for a year. Israel can launch its satellite, while the purchase of two satellites (where there are always satellites at the end of their lives and can be negotiated to buy at a price agreed upon between the parties),As for why I said, we should buy another satellite even if the price was more than 20 million dollars? Because the sum of the two amounts will be $ 26 million and this amount can be covered easily by operating the Iraqi satellite for a period of only three months, annual revenues of the satellite with these specifications range from $ 100 to $ 150 million annually.
Israel’s profits from the Iraqi satellite:
The Israeli satellite AMOS-4 cost Israel about $ 220 million, making it a net annual profit of between $ 100 million and $ 150 million a year. Iraq could launch the satellite at this cost and make that big profit for the benefit of the country and the Iraqi citizen who was still suffering.
Israel has become in a position that can not be dreamed of for its own interests. Iraq has not taken any action to preserve its orbit for two years from knowing Israel’s intention to take over its orbit, so it was natural for Israel to take over the orbit of Iraq.
Due to the rampant corruption in the ministry of communication, Iraq loses its orbit for unlimited period, and this is a message from every honorable Iraqi citizen to the Prime Minister, the Minister of Communications and the Integrity Commission to investigate thoroughly and hold the corrupt and their followers accountable and it is enough for the corruption and waste of the rights of Iraq and the Iraqis.
The question remains for the government who will preserve the rights of Iraq?
Economic Studies Unit
Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies