New Recruits Kill their Colleagues and the Society Looks for Alternatives to Military Draft


Three soldiers died out of eight injuries when a new recruit shot them on Monday, July 17, 2017, at Aback Military district in the province of Qazvin in Iran. According to the Iranian authorities, the recruit committed suicide after he blindly fired into these soldiers, which coincided with youth unions and associations’ constant criticism to the harsh conditions of the military draft in the country.
The news said that a new recruit killed his colleagues at a military and police camp at the Iranian ground forces Aback district in northern Iran. One day before this incident, another Iranian new recruit killed the chief of the police department, injured a number of other officers, and committed suicide in the city of Ab Bakhsh in Ahwaz province because he had not taken any leaves for long. In September last year, another Iranian new recruit killed three of his colleagues and injured two at new recruits care home in western Iran, which made all concerned investigate the new recruits’ conditions in the Iranian army and IRGC.
The Iranian officials stated that these recruits suffered from psychological strain because of their harsh conditions in the military and delay in their leaves without mentioning the names of shooters who end up by committing suicide. In such speculative climate about the motives of shooters, it is possible they came from non-Persian minorities, especially the Kurdish armed opposition in western and northwestern Iran, the Baluch in the southeast, and the Arabs in the south and southwest of the country.
As a result, some Iranian activist groups like “No Military Draft” that was commenced by Center of Liberal Studies and the Iranian Students Union called for cancellation of the military draft to improve the Iranian military forces and turn them into professional units. These activists also said that only 9% (16 countries) of the countries of the world, including Iran are still having obligatory military service, asserting that military draft causes psychological strain for the Iranian youths and drives them to commit suicide in most cases.
Another group was established by students of the seven biggest Iranian universities called, “Group of Improving Military Recruitment Conditions” and called for adopting a volunteer military recruitment system rather than military draft and an obligatory military training program for one month that includes all young people and then to give them the choice, to stay in military service with fair monthly payment or quit and pays a tax for exemption from this service. The last suggestion was welcomed by a number of Iranian parliamentary representatives and the Iranian parliamentary research center that introduced a draft law for the new military draft system in Iran, asserting that the performance of an army of professionals is better than performance of these recruits and volunteers, while opponents to this law insisted that the reduction of military draft from two years to one year weakened the Iranian army during the Iraqi-Iranian war, which made the country re-increase the military mandatory service into two years.

Editorial Team