Morning Report: December 21, 2004

Omar, Mohammed return to Baghdad and to ITM. Omar and Mohammed Fadhil have returned safely to Baghdad following their US tour with Spirit of America. They have resumed posting on the popular and influential Iraq The Model blog; however, their brother Ali has announced that he is leaving ITM. We wish him well. (ITM)

Allawi: "We are going to win definitely." Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi warned that enemy groups are trying to foment a civil war and subvert democracy in Iraq, but declared, "We are going to win definitely and the political process would continue in Iraq." The AP story at Fox continues: '"What is happening is that we are facing an enemy heavily supported even in some cases with superior weapons," Allawi said. "We will have setbacks, we are having setbacks, but we are determined to continue the fight."' (AP via Fox)

Iraq to restrict Iranian access. According to recent reports, the Iraqi government will tighten restrictions on Iranians visiting Iraq, apparently from concern over attempts by the Iranian regime to influence upcoming Iraqi elections. 'Iraq’s ambassador to Iran announced that presently the Iraqi embassy does not grant visas to any Iranian national, Iran’s Hamshahri Daily reported. Mohammad Majid Al-Sheikh added: “We will only provide those Iranians with visas who hold a permit from the Iranian Foreign Ministry or those Iranian traders who are a member of the country’s Commerce Chamber.”'