After the mullahs hijacked the revolution in 1979 from the Iranian people, the new regime adopted ideological strategies inside Iran and abroad as the so-called Jurist Leadership regime [Velayat-e Faqih].
Iran’s new regime focused on brainwashing people to serve their new agenda. This approach was implemented on the back of the new generation via revolutionary preaching seminars and soon became a reality on the ground. The Iraq-Iran war was the broader field for this approach and a golden opportunity to measure its effectiveness.
The most prominent brainwashing forms the Iranian regime uses to achieve its motives, is to force children to engage in battlefields instead of allowing them a right to education. Previously, Khomeini hired children younger than 16 years of age in the Iraq war. They were convinced to sacrifice their souls in exchange of so-called “Heaven’s Key”, and thus were used as human shields in the frontline of battlefields to avoid any losses in adult combatants.
Brutality and bloody acts can also be seen in the regime’s exploitation of children in minefield clearances in frontier regions to give way to the IRGC and the Iranian Army. The tragic shame is that Iran’s regime admits this crime towards innocent children and continues to brag about their recruitment as those among the number of heroic acts that have been achieved in the eight years of war in media outlets such as official TV channels and the press.
After being created, this criminal heresy used by Lebanese Hezbollah, trained children on battles and armed them to serve the Iranian regime in the Arab region. Hezbollah clips on the media provided evidence of this reality.
This phenomenon was not confined to Iran and Lebanon but also witnessed in other pro-ideological geographic areas such as the Houthis in Yemen who prohibited children from going to school and used them in Yemeni battlefields and on the borders of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. According to UNICEF statistics, the number of children used in combat exceeded 2,000 during the Yemeni war.
This unjustifiable fact definitely cannot be ignored and was documented in a BBC Arabic documentary, where an interviewer stepped towards a huge military vehicle, where stationed was a 15-year-old child. The minor was asked about why he was behind a heavy machine-gun to which he shockingly responded that he did not know but was asked to do so. The mush-mouthed interviewer tried to assist his interviewee with an answer and said, “To save your homeland?” to which the child responded “yes!” Children are also used in cantonments and military sites to distort the image of Coalition Forces in Yemen and thus play this card in the international fora.
Modeled on the Iranian pattern in the Iraqi war, other evidence of Houthis requirement of children in their losing battles, are the dozens of minors the legitimate forces have engaged in battles inside Yemeni territories, those dragged onto the frontlines of war, and the children captured by Saudi forces. It is worth mentioning that the Saudi forces have done the humanitarian imperative, where they clothed and took care of these children before handing them to the legitimate government of Yemen.
In conclusion, this project aimed to discuss the issue of children used in combat which support subversive schemes. Those responsible for this heinous act – are not deterred by law or afterlife punishment, and are ignorant of all international treaties and charters that condemn such brutal actions.
In contrast, international bodies and institutions that are supposed to protect children’s rights have overlooked this reality, kept silent and impassive and have not given this issue the necessary coverage via the expected media channels despite the data available.
Translated Piece: Watan SA
Opinions in this article reflect the writer’s point of view, not necessarily the view of The Arabain GCIS