The anti-government sentiment in Karbala, Iraq has been heightened with an anti-Iran shout.
The civilian population has reportedly attacked the Iranian consulate in Iraq, as a mark of retaliation and protest against Tehran’s involvement in Iraqi politics, in an attempt to favour the present government.
Slogans speaking against the Iranian Revolutionary Guard’s top commander Gen. Qassim Soleimani show the rage amongst the people, over his repeated interference in the political situation of the country that is grappling with economic slowdown, lack of jobs, corruption and poor civic amenities to speak of the least.
The attacks come days after Iraq’s top cleric warned foreign powers, especially Iran not to meddle with Iraq’s political affairs.
It also followed weeks of accusations by protesters and human-rights organizations against Iranian-backed militias for alleged violence against protesters.
It was confirmed that Iran has been using its proxy militia in the guise of ‘supporting the government’ in Syria and Iraq on many occasions, leading to deaths of several civilians.
Men dressed in military attire were seen hailing bombs at civilian population a few weeks back in Karbala, where silent protests then became violent. Till then, police had been asked to verbally warn and keep the angry mob in control.
Anger has lead to physical blockage of access to the vital Umm Qasr port near the southern city of Basra.
This is hurting the Iraqi economy, as communicated by the current PM Adel Abdul-Mahdi whose promise to step down from leadership has not calmed the situation in Karbala and southern parts of Iraq.
These are crucial to Iran’s attempt to be in the good books of a strong Shiite population. Tehran has wished to stand by Mahdi for its own vested interests, something that the civilian population has seen through.
This sentiment has received unstinting support by Iraq’s Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who addressed the nation recently in his key sermon in the holy city of Karbala, reiterating that Iraq was not interested in getting any help from Iran, in running its affairs.
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