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Iran’s shadow looms large over southeastern Iraqi Kurdistan

The recent bust of a major fraud and smuggling network at one of Iraqi Kurdistan's border crossings has drawn attention to the power wielded by Iran in that area, both on the local economy and on local water supplies due to dams built in recent years.
Iraqi tourists walk past the Sherwana Citadel in the Kurdish city of Kalar, 126 kms south of Sulaimaniya, on September 27, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAFIN HAMED        (Photo credit should read SAFIN HAMED/AFP via Getty Images)

KALAR, Iraqi Kurdistan — In this southeastern corner of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, Iranian influence is clear and of concern to many in the area amid reports of cross-border fraud and smuggling networks.

Dams built by Iran threatening to severely decrease water supplies available for local production may also negatively impact the future of the area.

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