On Friday, demonstrators stormed one of the presidential palaces in Basra amid ongoing mass protests against lack of basic services and corruption. The protesters torched one of the four presidential palaces in Basra after attacking the Iranian consulate on Friday and burned offices of pro-Iranian political parties on Thursday, local media reported.
"The head of the council of ministers and the supreme commander of the Armed Forces, Haider Abadi has ordered to launch investigation against security forces personnel, who were in charge of protection of Iraqi organizations and the Iranian consulate in Basra, for failure to fulfill their duties," the press service said.
The Foreign Ministries of Iran and Bahrain have already urged their citizens to leave Iraq. The Iraqi parliament will hold an extraordinary meeting on Saturday to discuss the situation in Basra.
Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi said Friday that Iran condemns the "brutal attack" on the Iranian Consulate in Iraq's Basra and demands immediate punishment of the perpetrators
Previous protests in Basra broke out in June before spreading to other areas of southern Iraq. Discontent has been sparked by problems with electricity and water supplies that have been exacerbated by scorching heat this summer. The government had formed a special commission to deal with the demands, pledging to allocate some $17 million to fixing electricity and water supplies. The promise resulted in protests subsiding before reigniting on Monday.