Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi said the ongoing protests in the country are causing "great economic damage" in a written statement on Sunday.
The latest wave of anti-government protests in Iraq disrupted public life and protesters blocked a number of vital bridges, roads and trading places across the country.
In Baghdad, demonstrators sealed off roads to the Joumhouriya Bridge, which then spread to the nearby Sanak Bridge that leads to the Green Zone where the government is headquartered.
In Basra, the city that holds 60% of crude oil reserves and 70% of natural gas reserves, clashes ensued that closed all roads leading to Iraq's main Gulf port Umm Qasr where Iraq's oil exports are made mostly from nearby offshore platforms.
The protesters argue that Iraqi citizens have not benefited from the country's vast oil wealth, nearly three-fifths of whom live on less than $6 a day, World Bank figures show.
Umm Qasr receives shipments of Iraq's grain, vegetable oils and sugar that feed a country largely dependent on imported food. Employees have been unable to carry out their work at the port that now operates at only around 20% of its normal level.
Further disruptions to the port would impact the inflow of commodities, pushing prices of goods up while threatening oil interests.
The protests also blocked roads leading to the State Company of Fertilizers in Basra which also blocked deliveries of iron and steel to the plant and to the Basra Gas Company (BGC) in the west of Basra.
Iraq has been rocked by a second wave of protests since last week against deep-seated corruption, unemployment and lack of basic services.
On Monday, four demonstrators lost their lives outside the Iranian consulate in the holy city of Karbala where Iraq's security forces fired live rounds at the protesters. At least 260 people have been killed and 12,000 others injured since the demonstrations began on Oct. 25, according to Iraq's High Commission of Human Rights.
Anger has been building in Iraq in recent years due to rising unemployment and rampant corruption. Many people in the country have limited access to basic services such as electricity and clean water.
According to World Bank figures, Iraq's youth unemployment is around 25%. It is also ranked the 12th most-corrupt country in the world by several transparency organizations.
By Busranur Begcecanli