Iran has demanded Iraq to take 'decisive, effective' action against protesters on November 28 as they torched the Consulate building in Najaf. Foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi condemned the attack and demanded decisive, effective and responsible action against destructive agents and aggressors, as per local news agency. He added that Iran has officially communicated its disgust to the Iraq ambassador in Tehran. On Wednesday, anti-government protesters set ablaze the Najaf consulate which burned down in tall flames. The Iranian staff was evacuated and there was no loss of lives as the protesters broke into the building to burn it.
Media reports quoted the protesters as shouting "Victory to Iraq!" and "Iran out!".
It's been two months since the protests began against the alleged propping up of the Iraq government. This is the second attack on an Iranian consulate in Iraq this month in which four protesters were shot down by the security forces. Protesters scaled the concrete barriers, brought down an Iranian flag and replaced it with an Iraqi one. As reported by the witnesses, in retaliation, the security forces fired in the air to disperse the protesters who threw stones and even burned tires around the building in the city, south of Baghdad.
Demonstrators demand an end to corruption, more jobs, and better public services. They also accuse Iran of interfering in Iraq's internal affairs. Iraq has been witnessing tens and thousands of protesters who are demanding for an economic reform along with the removal of the country's politically favorable officials. Amid the escalating political crisis, PM Mahdi had said earlier that he will not leave voluntarily, however, he will call an election unilaterally after the parliament votes in absolute majority to dissolve itself. On Sunday, protestors blockaded the five main bridges in the southern city of Nasiriyah and burned tyres outside public offices in anger. The protesters blocked access to the oil fields and companies around the city. Since October 1, almost 350 people have been killed and thousands more wounded since the protests began. Iraq's cabinet is currently discussing the 2020 budget before the parliament and it is expected to be the country's largest yet. Iraq is the 12th most corrupt country in the world, says Transparency International. A lot of the protestors believe it is the political class that is to blame because they award public sector jobs based on bribes, nepotism, and sectarianism which has led to large scale unemployment.