"Good evening the. US Embassy in Tehran invaded and occupied Iranian students. Americans inside have been taken prisoner. His new and according to a student spokesman will be held as hostages. You might remember the Iranian Revolution back in the day when protesters stormed our embassy in Tehran. Are People were. We're trying to burn documents if they could escape eventually. Iranians got in and took American hostages but over the last forty eight hours. Another crowd gathered around the. US Embassy. See Things got scary a lot of these crowds. They started protesting outside the embassy and managed to get right up close to the building surrounding owning it. This time it back they heard shouting down down. USA just outside the embassy got so serious that president trump authorized the deployment of nearly a thousand troops to defend the place and while Baghdad is the capital of Iraq. This had everything to do with Iran next door. ABC's foreign correspondent. James Longman joins us. Now he spent a Lotta time near that that embassy and so james how to control. Did this get. I mean absolutely extraordinarily out of control. I mean almost unprecedented absolutely amazing that these these protesters were able to get anywhere close to what is supposed to be one of the most secure embassies in the world if not the most secure the days of rage outside this building ties fund fires lit. US troops having to shoot take asked to disperse these protesters. The crowds are able to climb the smash down the reception area in some pictures console at security personnel. Having to hunker down inside pictures absolutely incredible. They go well beyond the stuff that you normally see. If people burning American flags though we've seen not to and president trump pat to send in something like seven hundred fifty soldiers from the eighty second airborne division which is based in Fort Bragg. Now it's on top of more than one hundred marines that when flown in to bolster the marines are already there so this has gotten wildly out of control. We think things die down for the moment but certainly totally unprecedented. And so James you say how did this start. How did this get so big so quick? Yes so on Friday. We gotTA rewind slightly to Friday of last week when in the north of Iraq. About thirty rockets rockets were fired at a base in cook where Americans work and one contractor was killed there. The Americans identified. This group is KC has bullets in Iranian backed lacked militia group working in Iraq. A department defense took offensive actions in defense of our personnel and interests in Iraq. And so as a result over the weekend They the Americans deployed F. Fifteens to hit their basis in both Iraq and in Syria strikes were successful volt. Twenty five of their fighters were killed and many more injured and so that group then held funerals in Baghdad For these fighters autism off to the funerals. They came to the embassy to attack the country. They held responsible for the deaths of of their fighters. So all this kind of happened as a result of that first attack last Friday. I don't think anybody thought it was going to get a serious this. Because what we've seemed to have witnessed witnessed is effectively the tacit approval of the Iraqi authorities allowing this group to get so close and it goes to the heart of the issue so entrenched inched is Iran in Iraq's politics that basically the Iraqi security services two to one side the way I'm confused James because when when I think about Iraq and Iran traditionally those two sides do not get along we were bombing what we thought were Iranian sponsored terror groups why would Iraqis be protesting protesting with Iran against the US in Baghdad. Well you've got to think of it. Less as Iraq versus Iran and more as Sunni versus Shia Shia when Saddam Hussein a Sunni was removed. It basically empowered. The Shia who found allies in the massive shear power is Iran right next door and basically ever the since his removal the Iranians have entrenched themselves in every Paul toll of Iraqi politics. Most of the Iraqi cabinet has has links to Iran the military leadership for months Iran and Israel. They've been fighting something of a shadow war inside Syria but Israel says this is the first time Iran which has sent thousands of troops to Syria to prop up the regime of Bashar. al-Assad has directly attacked across that border. This is a country Iran which works to weaken the the power structures of its neighbors in order to gain power there. It's not just in Iraq. So that is what this is about. And so when you look at the Iran on strength in the Middle East then you've only got to think that hostilities are only going to get worse as this New Year progresses. So what we're supposed to be these targeted tit. For TAT attacks attacks on Iranian sponsored terror groups now becomes a firestorm literal firestorm in the center of Baghdad on American turf. James Longman thank you thanks. James brought up the stakes there. I want to dive deeper into that with Colonel Steven Gerrard formerly of the Marine Corps and of the State Department now he's ABC News contributor attributed and so colonel gathered. I've seen the movie argo. Are we in a place where embassy in Baghdad is now just going to be the site of Iranian based protest test in Iranian beast attacks obviously the. US quickly quickly gets concerned about another Tehran. Or another Benghazi. Good Morning I'm George Stephanopoulos and we were coming on the here because we have just learned that the US ambassador to Libya has been killed. It happened overnight when angry militants stormed the US consulate in Benghazi Libya. They fired shots at the building on fire. But this is quite different. This is in Iraq. Iraq is Is a country that needs the US to be there. does not WANNA have the US lead Does not want to be seen as has being the puppet of Tehran so if they had allowed the Iranian backed protesters into the US embassy. That would have been Even bigger political problem vested political problem. I think it all comes back to the point here. Brad is this is all about domestic Iraqi politics and it really isn't about the US. Iran attempting to deflect all the anger occur within the Iraqi people towards the US and away from Iran security forces. Police and the army have been firing live rounds at protested protesters' as volleys of tegas protests. All around Iraq now and these have not been about the. US has been about the Iraqi government and when people showed up to protest that they shot. Right I mean we've seen hundreds of people now killed. According to reports because these protests we did not see that kind of reaction from the Iraqi police these last few days I mean why why. Why the devil? Yeah it's actually it's actually It's almost humorous if you look at the way that the Iraqi police stepped aside and allowed the Iraqi protesters to come in towards the compound. This was fully coordinated with the government. The government In Iraq had to do something thing to appease their masters in Tehran appease the protesters two peas those on the political side. They need so. This was all quite carefully staged and they gave limits. This is why you didn't you see any of the Iraqis tried to go into the compound itself This this was this was staged as a Hollywood set. And so the idea of letting civilians blow off steam also not getting too entangled with Iran and meanwhile president trump saying. It'd be bad free Ron to mess with us. We'll see what happens next even gang. Your thank you. Thanks."