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Last month, a local news agency in the semiautonomous Kurdistan region in northern Iraq reported that Iran was obtaining Chinese anti-riot gear — batons, shields and helmets — by shipping the items to Iraq and then smuggling them across the Kurdistan border into Iran.

The Kurdistan Press Agency reported that the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps contracted out the smuggling to Iranian dealers who buy goods in China, have them shipped legally to Iraq and then secretly have them transported across the border. The report could not be verified independently.