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Baghdad will struggle to manage its own borders

Friday, July 2, 2021


So far, results have been mixed. There have been some positive outcomes in terms of increased customs payments and improved security. However, control of key border crossings, particularly with Iran, remains largely in the hands of Shia militias, while access to Turkey from the Kurdistan region is outside Iraqi federal control.


  • Addressing corruption at border crossings would require deeper long-term commitment and structural reforms.
  • Rising government income because of higher oil prices will take some pressure off the push to boost customs revenue.
  • The main popular indicator of government economic success will be job creation, which will be difficult given the bloated public sector.
  • The current deep electricity crisis, partly blamed on Iran and on internal insecurity, will also overshadow border successes.

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