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Rouhani visit underlines Iran’s ‘special relationship’ with Iraq

Iran’s influential position in Iraq was on clear display in mid-March, during a three-day visit by President Hassan Rouhani designed to highlight the strong ties between the two countries in the face of United States sanctions on Iran. Iranian security forces have been a vital component of Iraq’s successful battle against Islamic State forces in recent years and Baghdad could now return the favour by providing an outlet for Iranian trade at a time when the Islamic Republic’s economy is struggling to cope with Washington’s reinvigorated trade embargo.

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