The Guardian reports: Merila, 30, has no love for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, but she is so alarmed by the Sunni Muslim militants battling to control neighbouring Iraq that she wants her country’s military to bring the fight to them or risk war at home.
Merila teaches English to young children in a day-care centre in Saadatabad, west Tehran, but her usual peace of mind has deserted her. “Isis is really frightening, and I’m scared,” she said. “I feel like they could pose a serious threat to us.”
The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, known as Isis, follows a virulent form of Sunni Islam that is deeply hostile to Shi’ism, the majority sect in both Iraq and Iran. Isis has publicised its execution of Shia Muslims after its capture of cities in northern Iraq including Mosul, the country’s second largest.
In pressing on towards Baghdad, Isis has threatened the Iraqi government, which is led by Shia Muslim parties and which has turned to its ally Iran, as well as the United States, for help.
For many Iranians, events have brought back memories of the “imposed war” of 1980-88 when Saddam Hussein unleashed Iraq’s powerful army against Iran. Even those not old enough to remember air-raids and mass casualties at the front have grown up in a society scarred by that conflict. [Continue reading…]