Iran condemns burning of its consulate by Iraqi protesters

Iran on Thursday condemned the burning of its consulate in southern Iraq hours earlier, which came amid an escalation in…

Iran on Thursday condemned the burning of its consulate in southern Iraq hours earlier, which came amid an escalation in Iraq’s anti-government protests that erupted nearly two months ago.

Violence across southern Iraq had continued throughout the night, with security forces killing 16 protesters and wounded 90 since Wednesday. Protesters closed roads while a large number of police and military forces were deployed across key oil-rich provinces. Protesters had set fire to the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Najaf late Wednesday. The Iranian staff were not harmed, and escaped out the back door.

Anti-government protests have gripped Iraq since Oct. 1, when thousands took to the streets in Baghdad and the predominantly Shiite south. The largely leaderless movement accuses the government of being hopelessly corrupt, and has also decried Iran’s growing influence in Iraqi state affairs.

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