Successive developments have recently occurred in Basra, southern Iraq which started with frequent protests against the corruption and deterioration of government services and turned into clashes with the security forces, indicating that the situation is going to get worse if the crisis is not contained.
Protesters stormed the Iranian consulate in Basra and set it on fire on Friday, the fifth day of protests in the city. Hundreds of demonstrators also attacked the outside gate of the headquarters of the Popular Rally Organization in the southeast of the province.
The rise of the demonstrations in Basra came amid political conflict for the sake of resolving the largest bloc in the Iraqi parliament; to form the Iraqi government, and represent the «Nuri al-Maliki – Hadi al-Ameri» movement that receives support from Tehran in the face of the «Moqtada al-Sadr – Haider Abadi» coalition which indicates that there are those who stir up the events of Basra.
The protests also coincided with the burning of the Iranian consulate in Basra, setting on fire about 20 headquarters of the parties and armed factions loyal to Iran, primarily the headquarters of the “Islamic Dawa”, led by former Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, as well as the headquarters of «Asaib Ahl al-Haq», the Badr Organization, the Iraqi Hizballah Brigades and the Supreme Islamic Council.
“What is happening in Basra is an attempt to exploit the living and service conditions,” said the researcher on Iraqi affairs, Mahmoud Jaber. “The aim of the demonstrations is to bring Iraq down and cause chaos,” he said.
Jaber added in a statement to the Reference that there are 3 scenarios for the future of the demonstrations in Basra, including in the foremost the spread of chaos and armed conflict between the communities of the people.
He continued: «The second scenario is the foggy continuation of the crisis without a solution with having the demonstrations, the burning and then calm, and then demonstrations and burning and so on without development to the stage of armed conflict, or reaching the stage of calm and containment, which is the third scenario»
He stressed that the officials and political forces, factions and tribal leaders should work to calm the situation; because the development of the crisis threatens Iraq stability.
For his part, the Iraqi political analyst, Dr. «Ahmed al-Mayali», said that there is fear of the development of the scene in Basra to chaos, if the political forces did not provide solutions to end the crisis.
“If the political forces did not invent a new way of good and rational governance, and evoked scenarios of change and serious substitution, we would witness a stage of violence,” he said.