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Iranian interference in Basra protests to blunt Trump sanctions

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Suddenly, July (the month of revolutions and coups in modern Iraq), witnessed protests in Basra demanding water, electricity and jobs in oil companies. It then spread to some cities in southern Iraq and to areas in Baghdad, the capital.

The Arabic and international news agencies have featured images and video clips of protesters burning signs in Khomeini street in Basra and attacks against the headquarters of the parties loyal to Iran, which are Badr organization, Asa'ib Ahl al-Haq, National Wisdom Movement.

The former deputy of Basra governorate, Wael Abdul Latif, said about that new phenomenon on the political scene in Iraq: “Burning the image of Khomeini and Khamenei, attacking the parties’ headquarters, political forces and armed factions clearly indicates the huge popular rejection of Iranian influence in Iraq in general,” as quoted by Al Hurra US channel.

The irony is that at the beginning of the movement many people considered the attack on the oil companies’ headquarters in al-Qurnah north of Basra, a part of an Iranian plan aimed at hindering the plan of US President Donald Trump to boycott Iranian oil exports.

Qassem Soleimani’s confirmation

Most of the analysis in this regard was based on a confirmation published by Russia Today website, that the Iranian General Qassem Soleimani said that, in case the US impedes Iran’s oil exports, the Revolutionary Guard is ready to implement a policy that hinders regional oil exports.

According to what the Iranian President Hassan Rowhani said: “If Iran could not export its oil, then the oil exports would stop in the whole region. If you want to do so, try it and you will bear the consequences.”

In this regard, Sasapost website, quoted the economic expert Khaled Mohammed Jaafar: “Iran hopes that the protests would reduce the Iraqi oil production; so that the oil prices would rise globally. If this happened, this would be considered as a gift for Iran as a response for the US sanctions imposed by the US President Donald Trump on Iranian oil exports.”