Iran relocates consulate in Iraq’s Basra following unrest

BASRA, Iraq (AP) — Iran’s ambassador to Iraq says his country is relocating its consulate in Basra, after demonstrators burned down the old one four days ago.

Protests in the oil-rich city that began over failing services and contaminated drinking water have morphed into a condemnation of Iraq’s entire political class, as well as of Iran, which holds a large sway over politics.

Angry demonstrators torched nearly every government building in Basra last week as well as the offices of several Iran-backed militias that operate in the city.

Ambassador Iraj Masjedi on Monday said the old consular building was “completely burned.” It was occupied and torched on Friday.

Protesters returned to the streets Monday night to chant against Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi and Basra Governor Asaad al-Aidani.

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