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Boundary Disputes on the Iran-Iraq Frontier

Program Year: 2019

Last August the Iraqi government decided to shut down the Mandali border crossing between Iraq and Iran in Diyala Governorate. In justifying the move, it described Mandali as an informal crossing that had been used for illicit trade and for the unauthorized movement of people and goods.


According to Iraqi media outlets, criminal organizations had smuggled narcotics into Iraq through there. The area is heavily controlled by Shi‘a militias, who have moved personnel and weapons with relative freedom. Diyala has gained strategic significance for paramilitary groups backed by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, given its location between the Iranian border and Baghdad, a region segmented by ethnic and sectarian fault lines.

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