Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Iraqi Protesters Deliver Message of Solidarity to Iranian Counterparts

Iraqi Protesters Deliver Message of Solidarity to Iranian Counterparts

Monday, 18 November, 2019 - 07:15
Demonstrators take part in anti-government protests in Najaf, Iraq October 31, 2019. (Reuters)

Iran has been the target of the ongoing anti-government protests in Iraq, with demonstrators condemning the neighboring country’s political influence over their own.

Iran meanwhile, was swept up last week in protests against the regime after officials decided to hike gasoline prices.

Despite the lack of information coming from Iran over the rallies, due to the regime’s blocking of the internet, protesters in Iraq are closely monitoring the developments that will likely impact their country.

Iraqi officials have yet to comment on the Iran rallies, but the people are making their voices heard.

Protesters in Baghdad’s Tahrir square have sought to deliver a message to their Iranian counterparts explaining why they have frequently chanted against Iran.

In a message to the Iranian people, the protesters said that their anti-government chants often mention Iran.

“We harbor no ill will to the Iranian people. Our problem lies with the Iranian regime that supports corruption, criminals and murderers in our country,” added the message that was written in Arabic, Farsi and English.

“We look forward to getting rid of our thieving rulers and seek strong relations with our Iranian brothers, who deserve a fair and civilized regime,” they stressed. “Oppressive governments are destined to fall and the people are meant to live on.”

The protesters in Iraq have often chanted against Iran and its allied forces. They have also burned the posters of Iranian leaders, including supreme leader Ali Khamenei and Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani.

In Karbala, angry demonstrators set fire to the Iranian consulate and in Najaf, they tore down a sign marking Imam Khomeini Street and replaced it with another that read Martyrs of the October Revolution.

Hundreds of Iraqis have been killed and injured as security forces cracked down on their rallies.

Protesters are demanding the overthrow of a political class seen as corrupt and beholden to foreign interests. They have turned to civil disobedience tactics like strikes, disrupting traffic and blocking ports or oil facilities.

Editor Picks