Iran Trains Children for War
Iran is using new methods of recruiting and training children through its paramilitary militia group, Basij, one of the five branches of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). The children, as young as eight years old, are trained to hate the US and Israel and to attack their enemies in the West, as well as to oppose Western values.
One of Iran's tactics has been to air promotional video clips on its state media outlets to seduce children. One of the most recent jihadist promotional clips is titled, "Martyrs who defend the sacred shrine."
The translation of the video clip, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), goes:
"Let us rise up to save the sacred shrine.
I have joined [Imam] Hossein's army division.
... I have a warrant from the [Imam Ali] to defend the sacred shrine.
On my leader [Ali Khamenei's] orders I am ready to give my life.
The goal is not just to free Iraq and Syria;
My path is through the sacred shrine [in Syria], but my goal is to reach Jerusalem.
... I do not regret parting from my country;
In this just path I am wearing my martyrdom shroud.
... From Mashhad [north-east Iran], I will walk on foot to Damascus.
I am like the bird who flocks to the sacred shrine."
The training and teachings inspire hatred in these young children, through rampant anti-Americanism and anti-Semitism, and focus on damaging the national security of the Unites States ("the Great Satan") and Israel ("the Little Satan").
At Mashad's theme park, "City of Games for Revolutionary Children," children are trained to engage in wars against the US and Israel. They fire bullets through US and Israeli flags or at effigies such as that of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
According to Israel National News:
"After registering, children don military uniforms and split up into groups of 8-10. They are accompanied by a 'commander' whom they pledge to obey. They then go through 12 activity stations, which include simulations of the Iran-Iraq war, a 'Revolution chamber,' defending various holy shrines, and traversing a minefield with barbed wire. Along the way, they are told about the directives of the Imam (Ayatollah Ruhollah) Khomeini and Supreme Leader Khamenei."