Iran Has Emerged as the Main Victor

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Since the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq in 2011, Iran has been able to exert powerful influence over its majority-Shia Arab neighbor. This became especially apparent in the years following ISIS’ rapid territorial gains in Iraq in 2014. Today, Tehran funds and trains Shia militia in Iraq, enjoys close trade links with Baghdad, and exerts extensive influence over the political system. The Cipher Brief’s Fritz Lodge spoke with the Director of the IranObserved project, Ahmad Majidyar, to find out how deep this influence goes and what the United States can do about it.

The Cipher Brief: How deep is Iranian influence over the Iraqi government, and what are Tehran’s primary objectives in the country?

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