Iraq-Iran border crossing reopened after week-long closure due to protests

Iraq has reopened its southern border with Iran after a week-long closure at the request of Tehran amid protests in both countries.

ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraq has reopened its southern border with Iran after a week-long closure at the request of Tehran amid protests in both countries, an Iraqi border commission said on Saturday.

Last week, an Iraqi security source and an Iranian diplomat told Reuters that the southern Shalamcheh border crossing had been closed.

Violence-ridden anti-government protests began in Iran on Friday following a Tehran decision to triple fuel prices. Iranian security forces have killed nearly 106 Iranian protesters, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Since then, local groups have reported at least 200 deaths during the unrest.

The authorities have started to roll back a total shutdown of civilian access to the internet, which limited the communication abilities of protesters with the outside world and media outlets. Local independent press and organizations, though small in numbers, have nevertheless actively reported on the killings, utilizing local sources.

Similar demonstrations have been ongoing in Iraq. They began on Oct. 1, calling for radical change in Iraq’s political system, which they say fails to address their needs, but, rather, serves the interests of a small governing elite.

Since they began, widespread protests in Iraq have resulted in the deaths of over 325 people, while some 16,000 have been injured.

On Saturday, protests continued in the capital of Baghdad, with the security forces firing rubber bullets at demonstrators, killing one who was struck, according to the Associated Press. A dozen others were wounded in subsequent clashes.

Editing by Karzan Sulaivany