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Iran protests Iraq over raid on diplomatic website

Tehran, Iran (AP) – Iran’s international ministry mentioned on Monday it “strongly condemns” Iraq’s raid on Tehran’s consulate in Karbala for the homicide of a distinguished activist.

Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh informed reporters on Monday that Iran handed over a “protest letter” to the Iraqi embassy in Tehran on Sunday night and urged neighboring Arab international locations to pursue the case in accordance with worldwide conventions.

“Iran strongly condemns assaults on its diplomatic websites in Iraq,” Khatibzadeh mentioned at a weekly briefing in Tehran.

A day earlier, Iraqi protesters set hearth to trailers belonging to the Iranian consulate in Karbala amid widespread anger over the homicide of Ehab Wazni, an activist who took half in anti-government protests sweeping Iraq in October 2019. He was shot useless on Saturday night time in entrance of his dwelling by unknown assailants.

Wazni’s dying sparked day-long protests in Karbala, with protesters blocking roads and bridges with burning tires. On Sunday night, dozens of protesters gathered outdoors the Iranian consulate, burning tires in entrance of the constructing and torching a number of trailers parked outdoors.

Related scenes unfolded in November 2019 throughout protests in Baghdad and the Shiite-majority provinces of Iraq within the south.

The remarks got here as Khatibzadeh confirmed on Monday for the primary time that current talks between Iran and its regional rival, Saudi Arabia, organized by Iraq, the primary public recognition of Baghdad’s function as mediator .

Discussions with Saudi Arabia centered on “each bilateral and regional” points, Khatibzadeh mentioned. “We now have at all times welcomed these discussions in any respect ranges and in all kinds.”

Khatibzadeh didn’t give particulars on the main points, however mentioned, “We must always at all times welcome the elimination of antagonism. We hope to succeed in a significant settlement on bilateral relations and regional points. “

Iraqi President Barham Salih mentioned on Wednesday that his nation had lately hosted direct talks between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran on a number of events.

Salih mentioned in a stay interview with the Beirut Institute, a assume tank, that the primary spherical of talks between Riyadh and Tehran happened early final month. He mentioned talks had been held for “greater than as soon as”, calling the talks ongoing, “vital and significant”.

Iran and Saudi Arabia have lengthy been regional rivals and help opposing websites in Yemen and elsewhere within the area. Relations deteriorated considerably in 2016, when Riyadh dismissed its diplomats after protesters attacked its embassy in Tehran and consulate in Mashhad in retaliation to the dominion for executing a distinguished Shiite cleric, Nimr al-Nimr.

Iran and Iraq have loved a detailed relationship because the overthrow of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who waged an eight-year conflict towards Iran in 1980 that claimed an estimated a million lives on each side.

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