Demonstrators set fire in front of the Iranian consulate, as they gather during ongoing anti-government protests in Najaf – REUTERS / STRINGER.
Iran has rejected Thursday the attacks that its Consulate suffered from protesters in the city of Najaf and has blamed the Government of Iraq for not having taken appropriate security measures to prevent it, as expressed by the spokesman of the Ministry of Relations Iranian foreign, Abas Musavi, one day after the attacks.
“Iraq is responsible for ensuring the security of the missions of the diplomatic corps in Iraq. Tehran strongly condemns the attack and demands the firm response of the Iraqi government against the aggressors,” Musavi said, according to state television.
In turn, the Iraqi authorities have condemned the attack on Thursday. The Foreign Ministry has said that this act of vandalism “has damaged the historical relations that both countries have” and stressed that the “diplomatic missions” that Iran has in Iraq “are highly respected and appreciated.”
The Department of Civil Defense of Najaf and police sources confirmed to the Reuters news agency that consulate personnel had been evacuated before the protesters broke out.
Local authorities announced a curfew after the event, framed in the wave of protests in the country, which has Tehran in the spotlight of criticism, especially in the southern part of the country.
The Iranian Government has a great influence on the Iraqi authorities and is considered the main supporter of the Prime Minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi. Recently, the head of the Quds Force of the Revolutionary Guards of Iran, Qassem Soleimani, traveled to the country to avoid its cessation.
During the day on Wednesday, protesters blocked roads in the south of the country, while the police repressed protests in the capital, Baghdad, on a day that resulted in at least four dead.
Around 350 people have died since the massive riots began in Baghdad and in the southeast of the country in early October, which is one of the biggest signs of rejection of the Government since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003.