When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

Recent acid attacks on women in the central Iranian city of Isfahan have apparently begun to upset Iranian authorities, but as much for the media coverage they are prompting as for the real-life effects.

Political leaders have accused both the culprits and those spreading "rumors" of the attacks of being foreign agents.

Acid attacks have been an occasional problem in the past. But several incidents that have emerged over the past few weeks in Isfahan have caused a stir. Immediate suspicions were directed at religious zealots, believed to have carried out the attacks against women who were allegedly badly veiled or driving cars.

The failure to arrest anyone usually feeds public suspicions that such zealots enjoy some level of protection from government authorities. There were nevertheless warnings in the media not to echo "hostile" reports or "point the finger" at a particular group, the BBC-Farsi reported on Oct. 28, citing Iranian media.

[rebelmouse-image 27088298 alt="""" original_size="800x561" expand=1]

A view of central Isfahan. Photo: Arad Mojtahedi

Isfahan's provincial governor was quoted as saying that no attacks were reported in the provincial capital after Oct. 15, so "all the news being reported in this respect is absolutely inaccurate," before warning the public not to gather in protest.

An Iranian judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Mohseni-Ejei told the press in Isfahan on Tuesday that the assailants would receive "maximum penalties," but stressed that authorities "will respond to social networks threatening morals and security, like Viber and Whatsapp, which disrupt people's peace of mind with rumors."

He blamed "provocations" for having impeded investigations and prevented the identification of culprits so far, the conservative dailyKayhan reported.

— Ahmad 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

Colombia Celebrates Its Beloved Drug For The Ages, Coffee

This essential morning drink for millions worldwide was once considered an addictive menace, earning itself a ban on pain of death in the Islamic world.

Colombia's star product: coffee beans.

Julián López de Mesa Samudio

-Essay-

BOGOTÁ — October 1st is International Coffee Day. Recently it seems as if every day of the calendar year commemorates something — but for Colombia, coffee is indeed special.

For almost a century now we have largely tied our national destiny, culture and image abroad to this drink. Indeed it isn't just Colombia's star product, it became through the course of the 20th century the world's favorite beverage — and the most commonly used drug to boost work output.

Precisely for its stimulating qualities — and for being a mild drug — coffee was not always celebrated, and its history is peppered with the kinds of bans, restrictions and penalties imposed on the 'evil' drugs of today.

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