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In the wake of the Kurdish independence referendum on Sept. 25, the Kurdish peshmerga and the Iran-backed Popular Mobilization forces clashed in Kirkuk on Oct. 16, potentially opening up a drawn-out struggle over the city.Between 50 and 60 percent of Iranian exports had entered Iraq through these three crossings, and about 80 percent of Iranian exports to Iraq pass through the Kurdistan Region overall.However, Iran is unlikely to keep its de facto trade embargo for long, provided the KRG gives in and surrenders the border crossings with Iran to Baghdad's security forces, as has begun to take place.This is already seen in Tehran's exports: Iran's Trade Promotion Organization reported that the value of Iranian exports to Iraq, including the Kurdistan Region, grew by 4 percent in the first five months of the current Persian year 1396 (March 21, 2017, to March 20, 2018,) compared to the same period in the previous year.Likewise, Iran has sought to increase its railways and roads through the Kurdistan Region.President Hassan Rouhani has advocated extending the railway project between Hamadan in Iran and Sanandaj in the Kurdistan Region to the Syrian border to connect Iran with the Mediterranean region.
Iran’s hydra-headed hydro problem water scarcity
Evaluating Iran’s economic leverage in Iraq
Iran’s banking sector reforms
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