Tehran has close but complicated relations with Baghdad, holding significant clout among its Shia political groups [Reuters]

Since they erupted a week ago, the deadly protests in Iraq have been tracked closely in Iran where they are seen as a plot to undermine ties between the neighbours.

Tehran has close but complicated relations with Baghdad, holding significant clout among its Shia political groups.

The two countries fought a devastating war from 1980 to 1988 and Iran’s influence in Iraq grew after the US-led invasion toppled longtime ruler Saddam Hussein in 2003.

Clashes that broke out in Iraq last week between protesters and security forces have killed over 100 people and wounded over 6,000 – most of them demonstrators struck by bullets.

The rallies began

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