Iran overreaching in Iraq? There has been little evidence of fissures between Shi’ites and Iraq and Shi’ites in Iran up to this point. From a strategic standpoint regarding defense against the global jihad, U.S. officials should see this as a positive development. Whether or not they actually will is another question. From Reuters, with thanks to John:
BASRA, Iraq, June 14 (Reuters) – A crowd accusing Iranian television of insulting an Iraqi cleric attacked Iran’s consulate in the city of Basra on Wednesday, setting fire to an annex of the compound, Reuters television footage showed.
Hundreds of protesters outside the consulate chanted slogans against an Iranian satellite station which they said had aired a programme slandering prominent Shi’ite Muslim cleric Mahmoud al-Hasani, who has many followers in the oil-rich Iraqi city.
Thick smoke billowed near the newly-opened complex in Iraq’s second city, which is patrolled by British forces.
One demonstrator climbed up the roof of a building in the compound and hoisted an Iraqi flag, a Reuters cameraman said.
A cleric who addressed the crowd outside demanded an apology from the government in neighbouring, mainly Shi’ite Iran.
“If our demand is not met we will not be able to hold back these angry crowds,” Ahmed al-Budairi, an aide of Hasani, told the demonstrators. The Iranian television station was not immediately available for comment….