The companies have not been named but the ministry says they include firms from Iraq, the UAE, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Iran, Germany, Turkey, Italy, Indonesia, France, Ukraine, the US, the UK and Russia.

Between them, the companies have been involved with projects for the ministries of oil, industry, minerals, electricity, youth and sports, health, agriculture, communications, and trade, as well as the Baghdad municipality.

The Planning Ministry says all future work with the companies has been abandoned until the issues are resolved.