President Donald Trump retweeted video footage showing protesters storming the Iranian consulate in the Iraqi city of Karbala on the eve of the 40th anniversary of the Iranian hostage crisis of 1979.
On November 4, 1979, a group of revolutionary Iranian students stormed the US embassy in Tehran and took 52 American diplomats and citizens hostage for a total of 444 days.
The incident caused long-lasting tensions and ended diplomatic relations between the two countries.
On Sunday night, almost exactly 40 years after the Iran hostage crisis began, Trump retweeted two videos showing Iraqi protesters attacking the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Karbala.
The videos Trump retweeted were posted on Sunday night by Arab News, an English-language daily paper in Saudi Arabia, and Iran International, a Persian language television channel funded by a Saudi Arabian businessman with close ties to Mohammad bin Salman.
—إيران إنترناشيونال-عربي (@IranIntl_Ar) November 3, 2019
—Arab News (@arabnews) November 3, 2019
Mustafa Saadoon, director of the Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights told Al Jazeera that three protesters were killed by Iraqi security forces during the attack, which happened on Sunday night.
According to Al Jazeera, protestors scaled concrete barriers and took down Iranian flags, replacing them with Iraqi flags with the words "Karbala is free, Iran out, out!" spray-painted on them — in protest against Tehran's perceived interference in Iraqi politics.