When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

The stunning assault this week in Iraq by the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is bad news for Iran, which has been a staunch ally of Iraqi Prime Minister (and fellow Shia Muslim) Nouri al-Maliki.

But beyond condemning the Sunni foes from ISIS, some in Tehran are pointing the finger at Washington. Iranian Revolutionary Guards General Mohammad Reza Naqdi said yesterday that "American leaders are showing they are really idiotic and incapable, by repeating their failed experiences in Iraq."

Iran has blamed the West for opening the floodgates to regional terrorism by initially backing the rebellion against Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad. In past years, Iranian media also accused the United States of fomenting violence in Iraq after its 2003 invasion, as a pretext to maintain its troops there.

Without elaborating, General Naqdi seemed to imply that Western agents were behind the recent ISIS strikes in Iraq, including taking the city of Mosul. He told a gathering in the town of Saravan that "America has been tricked again, thinking that with the games it has started in Iraq it can continue its rotten ... policies in the region," the leftist daily Kar va Kargar reported. "This game will cause it such regret it will forget its defeats in Syria and Lebanon."

The "defeats" were a reference to the West's inability to topple Assad. A conservative parliamentarian separately said Western states had "armed and supported" extremist Sunni groups in Syria and were now sending them back to Iraq "to die" and save themselves "problems" associated with the militants' later return to other countries.

"In other words, they have sent them to the slaughterhouse," Iranian Parliament member Hossein'ali Haji-Deligani told Mehr news agency. He said ISIS would try and "dismember" Iraq and "take its revenge" on Iran for its defeat in Syria. But "the West has ... created the conditions for the destruction of Salafist groups in Iraq," which he said would be their "last bastion."

— Ahmed Shayegan

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Society

How India’s Women Are Fighting Air Pollution — And The Patriarchy

India is one of the world's worst countries for air pollution, with women more likely to be affected by the problem than men. Now, experts and activists are fighting to reframe pollution as a gendered health crisis.

A woman walking through dense fog in New Delhi

*Saumya Kalia

MUMBAI In New Delhi, a city that has topped urban air-pollution charts in recent years, Shakuntala describes a discomfort that has become too familiar. Surrounded by bricks and austere buildings, she tells an interviewer: "The eyes burn and it becomes difficult to breathe". She is referring to the noxious fumes she routinely breathes as a construction worker.

Like Shakuntala, women’s experiences of polluted air fill every corner of their lives – inside homes, in parks and markets, on the way to work. Ambient air in most districts in India has never been worse than it is today. As many as 1.67 million people in the country die prematurely due to polluted air. It is India’s second largest health risk after malnutrition.

This risk of exposure to air pollution is compounded for women. Their experiences of toxic air are more frequent and often more hazardous. Yet “policies around air quality have not yet adequately taken into account gender or other factors that might influence people’s health,” Pallavi Pant, a senior scientist at the Health Effects Institute, a nonprofit in the U.S., told The Wire Science.

“It’s unacceptable that the biggest burden [rests on] those who can least bear it,” Sherebanu Frosh, an activist, added. People like her are building a unique resistance within India.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ