Iraqis volunteer to repair damage in Basra as Iran reopens consulate

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Dozens of Iraqis in Basra demonstrated on Tuesday night in front of the Diwan building to protest against the ongoing social crisis, water contamination and rampant corruption in the governorate.

Security forces provided protection to the protestors who took to the street after a bloody week in which 15 were killed and 100 others were injured in protests.

Meanwhile, a number of people volunteered on Tuesday to clean the city’s main streets and walls and repair the damage.

Haidar Sabaa, one of the volunteers, told Al Arabiya.net that volunteers were cleaning the sidewalks and restoring the police and traffic caravans which were sabotaged by “infiltrations from the authorities’ parties”.

Other groups are organizing a peaceful protest to pressure the government to provide services.

The security committee in Basra’s council had appointed Lieutenant-General Rashid Fulieh to replace Jamil al-Shamri as commander of operations in the governorate after people had called for sacking Shamri.

In other news, Iran’s ambassador in Iraq Iraj Masjedi arrived to Basra to reopen the new Iranian consulate after the old building was burnt by protestors last week.

“The attack on the consulate will not affect the relations between the two countries considering the many things they have in common,” Masjedi said at the opening ceremony.

“So far, no one has been charged with burning the consulate. This is the duty of Iraqi officials,” he added.

Basra’s governor Asaad al-Aidani and other Iraqi officials attended the opening of the new consulate which is located near governmental buildings in Cornish Street and which used to be the residence of the Iranian consul during the monarchy.