The U.S has revealed that it will close its consulate in Basra, Iraq and has blamed its decision due to increasing threats from Iran and Tehran backed forces, IANS reported.
In a statement, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said all but emergency staff would be relocated to Baghdad, the BBC reported on Saturday.
Pompeo said the US would hold Iran responsible for any harm to its citizens or facilities and accused Tehran of failing to prevent recent rocket attacks directed at the American consulate, the BBC said.
This comes after the U.S withdrew from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and re-instated economic and oil sanctions on Tehran.
Earlier, after a number of civilians were killed in clashes with the police, protesters damaged government, political buildings including the Iranian consulate and the paramilitary force backed by the Islamic Republic.
The protests in the city have been fuelled by growing public anger over poor infrastructure, contaminated water and a lack of jobs in a region that generates much of Iraq’s oil wealth.
They have also denounced what they perceive as Iran’s control of local affairs, said the BBC report.
Pompeo said there were “increasing and specific” threats against Americans and US facilities in Iraq.