By Pooya Stone

Iran and Russia are currently vying for power in Syria as the country’s eight-year-long civil war draws to a close and this battle recently became public.

Syrian news site Syria Call wrote that nearly a dozen people, including women and children, were killed and about a dozen more were wounded in clashes between pro-Russian and pro-Iranian militia groups on April 14. The clashes in Aleppo involved heavy weaponry and rockets that hit a civilian neighbourhood and marketplace.

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Iran Focus

London, 27 April - A recent report published by the International Monetary Fund shows that the economy in Iran dwindled last year following sanctions that were leveled by the US. As well, it is expected to decrease by another 3.6 percent or more this year. Iran’s oil exports have declined by more than half, and the rial, its currency, continues to decline in value. The recent flooding has also added to the economic crisis. Now, with the new sanctions leveled at the Iranian government’s military institution — the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and its affiliates — an even more significant pressure will be put on the Islamic Republic.

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Iran Focus

London, 11 April - The Iraqi city of Basra is dealing with a major drug crisis that came over from Iran, but depleted police resources and overcrowded detention centres mean that the system is struggling to cope, which has led plenty of locals to protest poor services over the last year.

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Iran Focus

London, 18 April - Syria is facing a major shortage of fuel after Iran cut off credit to them in October under pressure from Us sanctions, according to Syrian government-controlled newspaper Al-Watan.

The paper reports that no oil tanker has come into Syrian ports in the past six months, according to the Syrian Oil Ministry, while the government-controlled regions in Syria are only producing 24,000 barrels per day, which is roughly 20% of what the country needs.

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Iran Focus

London, 10 April - Many Iranian-backed fighters are returning home from the Syrian Civil War where they fought in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but they are not necessarily going to Iran.

Iran is famous for having sent thousands of undocumented Shiite Afghan refugees to fight in Syria alongside Iran-backed Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), since 2011. Why? Because it was cheaper than sending Iranians and would create less public outcry than having Iranians die in Syria.

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