Iran, ISIS And Ambitions Of Empires

There has been much recent speculation about Iran working with its longtime nemesis, the United States, to confront a new, common enemy: the radical Islamist organization ISIS.

Indeed, the Sunni zealots of ISIS have focused some of their rhetoric directly at Tehran, the center of Shia Islam, vowing to fight what it says are Iran's goal of restoring the Safavid Empire, the much more extensive Persian state of the 17th century.

In an apparent response to such claims, Iran’s conservative parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, said this week that the country “does not want an empire.”

Larijani told a Tehran seminar on Palestine that Iran's 1979 revolution was directed against empires, and all Iran seeks now is the "dignity" and "enlightenment" of Muslims. If it was helping “resistance forces” like the Lebanese Hezbollah, he said, in order to “end the Zionist current in the Middle East,” the semi-official ISNA agency reported.

Larijani’s comments on Tuesday appeared directed at a range of critics, including the West. He cited former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's recent remarks qualifying Iran as a greater threat to Western interests than ISIS, because Iran was "an intellectual current in the Islamic world" whereas ISIS was "just a political group."

Iran's regime has intermittently accused the West of fomenting conflict in Iraq and Syria and surreptitiously backing extremist Sunni groups. Yet in spite of the mutual suspicions, the country is currently negotiating its nuclear program with the West, in a bid to free itself from crippling economic sanctions.

Iran’s Deputy-Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi told Iranian television this week that the sides had written down “about 60 to 70%” of a final nuclear deal, ahead of a meeting in New York scheduled for September 18,” the reformist Aftab-e Yazd daily reported.

— Ahmad Shayegan

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A Mother In Spain Denied Child Custody Because She Lives In Rural Area

A court in Spain usurps custody of the one-year-old boy living with his mother in the "deep" part of the Galicia region, forced to instead live with his father in the southern city of Marbella, which the judge says is "cosmopolitan" with good schools and medical care. Women's rights groups have taken up the mother's case.

A child in Galician countryside

Laure Gautherin

A Spanish court has ordered the withdrawal of a mother's custody of her one-year-old boy because she is living in the countryside in northwestern Spain, where the judge says the child won't have "opportunities for the proper development of his personality."

The case, reported Monday in La Voz de Galicia, has sparked outrage from a women's rights association but has also set off reactions from politicians of different stripes across the province of Galicia, defending the values of rural life.

Judge María Belén Ureña Carazo, of the family court of Marbella, a city on the southern coast of 141,000 people, has ordered the toddler to stay with father who lives in the city rather than with his mother because she was living in "deep Galicia" where the child would lack opportunities to "grow up in a happy environment."

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - October 25, 2021

Front page of La Voz de Galicia - Monday 25 October, 2021

La Voz de Galicia

Better in a "cosmopolitan" city?

The judge said Marbella, where the father lives, was a "cosmopolitan city" with "a good hospital" as well as "all kinds of schools" and thus provided a better environment for the child to thrive.

The mother has submitted a formal complaint to the General Council of the Judiciary that the family court magistrate had acted with "absolute contempt," her lawyer told La Voz de Galicia.

The mother quickly accumulated support from local politicians and civic organizations. The Clara Campoamor association described the judge's arguments as offensive, intolerable and typical of "an ignorant person who has not traveled much."

The Xunta de Galicia, the regional government, has addressed the case, saying that any place in Galicia meets the conditions to educate a minor. The Socialist party politician Pablo Arangüena tweeted that "it would not hurt part of the judiciary to spend a summer in Galicia."

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