Major protests and riots in Iraq continue unabated. Yesterday, protesters (for the second time) set fire to the Iranian consulate in the southern Iraqi city of Najaf where the security forces killed fifty protestors on Thursday. This attack underscores the great animosity towards Iran, specifically in the southern region — most of which is populated by Shiites.

In the past, Iranian Shiites have enjoyed strong support in southern Iraq. Recently, however, Iraq has been viewed as a tyrannical force that has taken control of the oil-rich southern region taking advantage of the Iraqi economy and the oil profits while wreaking havoc on area residents in this vast and important region.

The protesters have also blocked access to the Iraqi company responsible for oil production in the south.

The number of those killed in the demonstrations is about five hundred and the number of injured is estimated to be sixteen thousand. These huge numbers show a rapid deterioration in Iraq and they have also led to the resignation of the Iraqi Prime Minister. He submitted it to the Iraqi parliament which then convened a special session during which the resignation was resignation.

Revolutions — a sign of redemption

All this is in line with the holy pronouncements of the Lubavitcher Rebbe King Messiah that revolutions are signs of redemption (Shabat Toldot, 5750). In recent weeks, both the Lebanese Prime Minister and the Iraqi Prime Minister have resigned while the Iranian government has also experienced disturbances, with a wave of riots which are the strongest and most violent since the Islamic revolution forty years ago. Iran’s Vice President today even expressed his concern that Iran was facing the worst situation in forty years. A wave of arrests in Iran is continuing and the authorities are literally hunting down the protesters. Thus far, about ten thousand people have been detained and the violent suppression has resulted in four to six hundred killed and thousands wounded. This bears out the government’s enormous fear of collapse and revolution.