MANDALI, Iraq (AP) — Iran's presence is already visible in Iraq, from the droves of pilgrims at Shiite holy sites to the brands of yoghurt and jams on grocery shelves. But now Iraqis are bracing for a potential escalation of Persian influence as the U.S. military leaves at the end of the year.
It's a natural step, most agree, for the only two Shiite Muslim-led governments in the Sunni-dominated Mideast to expand their relationship. But it's a fine line for Iraq to walk, with even many in Iraq's Shiite majority wary of infringement of their country's sovereignty and afraid of being overrun by the Iranian theocracy.
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