News : Middle East
- Published: Monday, 04 November 2019
Dozens of Iraqi protesters attacked the Iranian consulate in the Shiite holy city of Karbala on Sunday, scaling the concrete barriers ringing the building, bringing down an Iranian flag and replacing it with the Iraqi flag. They said only the Iraqi flag should fly high in the sky and that Iranians should be ejected.
This took place while the anger against Tehran’s perceived interference in Iraqi politics and the life of the people is increasing. The protesters chanted slogans against Tehran and militias loyal to it. The Iranian regime has lost its power over the minds of the Shiite Iraqis, analysts say.
This is the second time the consulate has been attacked in recent days; it was previously targeted on October 26.
Security forces dispersed the protesters by firing into the air. Demonstrators threw stones and burned tires around the building. Five protesters were shot dead near the Iranian consulate on Monday, AFP reported. US President Donald Trump retweeted without comment videos from the attack.
Karbala has been the scene of clashes between protesters and security forces, mostly Iranian-backed militias. On the night of October 28, protesters said they were shot at repeatedly and up to 14 were killed. This caused anger against Iran, and there are perceptions that Iran ordered the shootings. On October 3, the protesters called for Iranian elements to be removed from Iraq as they targeted the consulate.
The protests are directed at a postwar political system and a class of elite leaders that Iraqis accuse of pillaging the country's wealth while the country grows poorer. But protesters have also directed their rage at neighboring Iran and the powerful Iraqi Shiite militias tied to it.
The Iraqi people are angry about the destructive influence of Iran and mainly Qasem Soleimani, the head of the terrorist Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) Quds Force, who uses all of Iraq’s sources for their own goals in the Middle East. The people in Karbala chanted against Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard (IRGC). In a tweet, Al Arabiya showed a glimpse of Iraqi people’s frustration about Iran while a demonstrator said: “The authority of Iran is absolute in the country ... It is not reasonable that Iranian security forces ask me about my Iraqi identity in my country!”
This shows that the demonstrators' main target is Iran’s meddling that has besieged Iraq for 15 years.