Thu, 20 Sep 2018
36
Tehran

Iran's ambassador to Iraq opened a new consulate for his country in the southern city of Basra, four days after protesters burned down the old mission.

'I'm here to inaugurate the new premises of our Iranian Consulate in Basra...because we don't want lose a single day of services for the people of Basra,' Ambassador Iraj Masjedi said on September 11.

Masjedi said the old consular building was 'completely burned,' after it was torched by demonstrators on September 7.

None of its staff were reported injured.

Iraqi authorities announced an investigation into the security forces responsible for protecting the mission.

Many pilgrims from Iran are expected to travel to neighboring Iraq later this month for Ashura, the holiest celebration in the Shi'ite religious calendar.

Basra has seen a surge in deadly protests in the past week, with demonstrators -- angry over corruption and the lack of basic services and jobs in a province that generates much of Iraq's oil wealth -- setting alight government buildings.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP

Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Republished with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036

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