US Sanctions Send Iranians to Northern Iraq Looking for Work and War

By Nolan Peterson

SULAYMANIYAH, Iraq—When Iran’s economy began to collapse last year under U.S. sanctions, Iranian computer programmer Mohsen Heidari decided to look for work in Iraqi Kurdistan.

“It’s impossible to support my family, anymore, living in Iran,” said Heidari, who is from the Iranian city of Kermanshah.

“Coming here was my last option,” Heidari said of the autonomous Kurdish territory in northern Iraq.

Speaking with this correspondent during a shared taxi ride between the Iraqi cities of Sulaymaniyah and Erbil in late May, Heidari explained that he now makes the mountainous border crossing into Iraqi Kurdistan on a regular basis.

Heidari stays for months at a time, sending the money he makes back to his family in Iran.

“I do what I have to do,” he said.

Iran shot down a U.S. drone Thursday, escalating an ongoing military standoff that many experts warn could lead to full-scale war.

“It was a very foolish move,” President Donald Trump told reporters at the White House early Thursday afternoon, while indicating the shootdown may have been “a mistake” by a military leader.

Even so, Trump said, “This country will not stand for it.”

The president announced Monday that 1,000 more American troops were headed to the Middle East. The move followed an attack on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last week, which U.S. officials attributed to Iran.

Although both camps have said they don’t want war, many experts say the prospect of an accidental conflict is increasing.

Shaista Mohammed, 19, left Iran eight months ago to join an exiled Kurdish opposition group in Iraqi Kurdistan. (Photos: Nolan Peterson/The Daily Signal)

As U.S. sanctions take a toll on Iran’s economy and military tensions mount between the two countries, an uptick has occurred in the number of Iranians traveling to Iraqi Kurdistan. Some are looking for …read more

From:: Daily Signal – Feed

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