Code: 840166 A

Director-General of Interior Ministry for Border Affairs Hossein Ghasemi told ILNA news agency that western Mehran border crossing has been shut until Iraqi conditions become normal.

According to Ghasemi, if the Iraqi protests escalate, the Chazabeh and shalamcheh border crossing may also be closed.

Chazabeh is a border terminal in Iran which is located in Khuzestan province, south-west of Iran and in common border between Iran and Iraq. Chazabeh border is one of the main borders of Iran for pilgrims heading to observe Arba’een rituals in Iraqi Karbala.

Iran closed a western border crossing with Iraq amid the recent unrest in the Arab country.

“The most important issue is the security of our citizens who want to travel to Iraq. The news and reports we receive from inside Iraq show that the unrest is so severe,” Iranian official said.

 Hossein Ghasemi added that the border crossing has been shut until further notice to protect the lives of pilgrims in the wake of recent violent protests.

On Wednesday evening, anti-government protesters stormed and set the Iranian consulate ablaze in Iraq’s southern city of Najaf, drawing condemnation from Iraq's government.

In a statement on Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi condemned the attack on the consulate, saying the Iraqi ambassador to Tehran has been officially informed of the Islamic Republic’s strong protest over the issue.

In a Thursday telephone conversation with Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mohammad Javad Zarif, Iraqi Foreign Minister Mohamed Ali Alhakim offered his apologies for a Wednesday attack on the Iranian consulate in Najaf.

Iraq has been engulfed in protests since early October, as street protests in several cities continue over unemployment and poor public services.

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Interior Ministry Iraqi unrest Chazabeh and shalamcheh border Mehran border crossing
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