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Shias holding their evening prayer in the holy sites of Karbala, Iraq
Shias holding their evening prayer in the holy sites of Karbala, Iraq
Georges Malbrunot

KARBALA — Inside the shrine and mosque covered by mosaics, the crowd is rushing to touch the silver edge of the martyr's tomb. Among the crowd is Manjour, 37, who came all the way from Gurajat, India, to honor his "leader," Al-Husayn ibn ‘Ali, the third Shia imam.

Even as fierce battles and terror attacks have plagued Baghdad and Mosul to the north, millions of pilgrims travel here each year from across the Muslim world to pay homage to Imam Husayn, next to whom lies the remains of his eldest son, Ali al-Akhbar, and 77 other martyrs of the battle of Karbala in 680, the starting point of the Sunni-Shia war that continues to rage 14 centuries later.

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Geopolitics

Venezuela-Iran: Maduro And The Axios Of Chaos In The Americas

With the complicity of leftist rulers in Venezuela, Bolivia and even Argentina, Iran's sanction-ridden regime is spreading its tentacles in South America, and could even undermine democracies.

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro visiting Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi in Tehran, Iran on June 11. Venezuela is one of Iran's closest allies, and both are subject to tough U.S. sanctions.

Julio Borges

-Analysis-

CARACAS —The dangers posed by Venezuela's relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran is something we've warned about before. Though not new, the dangers have changed considerably in recent years.

They began under Venezuela's late leader, Hugo Chávez , when he decided to turn his back on the West and move closer to countries outside our geopolitical sphere. In 2005, Chávez and Iran's then president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, signed collaborative agreements in areas beyond the economy, with goals that included challenging the West and spreading Iran's presence in Latin America.

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