Protests in Iraq reveal a long-simmering anger at Iran



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BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraqi protesters mock Iran's leaders, firebomb the offices of its local political allies and threaten its diplomatic missions.

The anti-government protests that have convulsed Iraq in the past month are fueled by economic grievances and are mainly directed at Iraq's own political leaders.

But they have also exposed long-simmering resentment at Iran's influence in the country, with protesters targeting Shiite political parties and militias with close ties to Tehran.

The uprising in Iraq, and similar anti-government protests in Lebanon, pose a threat to key Iranian allies at a time when Tehran is under mounting pressure from U.S. sanctions.

The protesters are mainly Shiite, which undermines Iran's claim to be a champion of Shiites, who are a majority in Iraq and Iran but a frequently oppressed minority in the Muslim world.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Qassim Abdul-Zahra
    Joseph Krauss

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