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US’ diplomatic option and Iran’s child martyrdom – incompatible!

*Is the diplomatic option viable when dealing with Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have promoted – since 1979 – child martyrdom in their school curriculum and on the battlefield?!

*Is the diplomatic option viable when dealing with Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have espoused child martyrdom in the service of their Islamic Revolution, which aims to topple all pro-US Arab Sunni regimes and bring “the Great American Satan” and other Western “infidels” to submission?!

*Is the diplomatic option viable when dealing with Iran’s Ayatollahs, who have urged Iranian children to participate in the annual November 13 “National Day of Fighting Arrogance” (commemorating the takeover of the US Embassy in Tehran and holding over 50 Americans hostages for 444 days), declaring their hatred toward “the bullying and oppressive USA” and chanting “Death to America”?!

Luring children into mine-sweeping

Brainwashing children into martyrdom is presented by the Ayatollahs as an extension of the Shiite mythology surrounding the 680 AD Battle of Karbala, which was the Big Bang of the Sunni-Shiite conflict and the role model for martyrdom. During the battle, Hussain ibn Ali, the third Shia Imam and the grandson of Muhammad, and his warriors – including children – were betrayed and massacred by the Sunni Caliph Yazid.

“During the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war, children were sent to be slaughtered on mine-sweeping missions…. Iranian officials forced underage Afghan refugees to fight in the Syrian civil war on the side of Bashar al-Assad’s government….”

According to the Geneva-based Refworld (an arm of the UN High Commissioner on Refugees), “[Iranian] child soldiers, some as young as nine, were used extensively during the Iran-Iraq war…. They were given ‘keys to paradise’ and promised that they would go directly to heaven if they died as martyrs against the Iraqi enemy….

“An Iranian government representative admitted in a closed-door sub-commission hearing that children did participate in the war against Iraq…. In a series of rulings issued in the autumn of 1982, Ayatollah Khomeini declared that parental permission was unnecessary for those going to the front…. Iranian officers captured by the Iraqis claimed that nine out of ten Iranian child soldiers were killed…. Boys as young as nine were reportedly used in human wave attacks and to serve as mine sweepers in the war with Iraq…. Martyrs’ families enjoyed some social prestige and reportedly received monetary compensation per child, plus a martyr’s card entitling the family to food and other privileges. Child soldiers were nearly all from poor villages or slum families….”

Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty reported that “during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq War, when self-sacrifice and martyrdom became the quintessential values of the Islamic Revolution and the guiding principles of Iranian society, more than 550,000 [elementary and high school] students were sent to the front, often with a plastic ‘key to paradise’ hanging around their necks…. They were used as cannon fodder in human-wave attacks launched by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps against the Iraqi forces.  October 30 is celebrated as Student Basij (paramilitary unites] Day, in order to promote and glorify the spirit of martyrdom….

“Iran’s Welfare and Social Security Minister, Sadeq Mahsouli, said that ‘children should be educated in such a way that when they reach the age of 13, they will be able to imitate Hossein Fahmideh [commit martyrdom].'”

The New York Times’ Terence Smith reported on “the 12-17 year old ‘Warriors of God’, joining Iran’s battle against Iraq, wearing blood-red headbands and a small metal key to heaven, if killed in the holy war against Iraq. They were divinely designated martyrs who stormed barbed wire or marched into Iraqi mine fields in the face of withering machine-gun fire to clear the way for Iranian tanks.

“The young boys were recruited by local clergy or simply rounded up in the villages of Iran, given an intensive indoctrination in the Shiite tradition of martyrdom, and then sent into battle against Iraqi armor. Often bound together in groups of 20 by ropes to prevent the fainthearted from deserting, they hurl themselves on barbed wire, or march into Iraqi mine fields in the face of withering machine-gun fire to clear the way for Iranian tanks.  Across the back of their khaki-colored shirts is stenciled the slogan: ‘I have the special permission of the Imam to enter heaven.’

“Iran seems a society possessed. Its soldiers at the front and its clerical leaders at home display a kind of zealotry in pursuit of their revolution that is hard for the Western mind to comprehend….”

According to IMPACT SE 2021-2022 study of Iran’s school curriculum: “….Child martyrdom is glorified…. Martyrdom is viewed as a goal to be pursued in order to achieve spiritual perfection….”

The bottom line

*Since February 1979 – when the Ayatollahs assumed power in Iran – the diplomatic option has been a moral failure, rewarding a regime, which has brainwashed children into martyrdom, in addition to repressing the ethnic and religious minorities of Iran.

*Since February 1979, the diplomatic option has been a strategic failure, energizing a regime, which has evolved into the regional and global epicenter of anti-US subversion, terrorism and dissemination of advanced military systems throughout the Middle East, Africa and Latin America.

*The US’ diplomatic option and moral values, on the one hand, and Iran’s child martyrdom and domestic and foreign policy, on the other hand, are dramatically incompatible.

*The 43-year-old track record of the diplomatic option attests to its resounding failure and the need to shift to another option, which will free the Iranian people, the Middle East and the globe of the wrath of the Ayatollahs.

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The Abraham Accords – the US, Arab interests and Israel

Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan believe that the expansion of the Abraham Accords, the enhancement of Israel-Saudi defense and commercial cooperation and the conclusion of an Israel-Saudi Arabia peace accord are preconditioned upon major Israeli concessions to the Palestinian Authority.

Is such a belief consistent with Middle East reality?

Arab interests

*The signing of the Abraham Accords, and the role played by Saudi Arabia as a critical engine of the accords, were driven by the national security, economic and diplomatic interests of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and the Sudan.

*The Arab interest in peace accords with Israel was not triggered by the realization that the Jewish State was genuinely seeking peaceful-coexistence, nor by a departure from the fundamental tenets of Islam. It was motivated by the assessment that critical concerns of the respective Arab countries would be effectively-served by Israel’s advanced military (Qualitative Military Edge), technological and diplomatic capabilities in the face of mutual and lethal enemies, such as Iran’s Ayatollahs and Muslim Brotherhood terrorism.

*Saudi Arabia and the six Arab peace partners of Israel (including Egypt and Jordan) are aware that the Middle East resembles a volcano, which occasionally releases explosive lava – domestically and/or regionally – in an unpredictable manner, as evidenced by the 1,400-year-old stormy intra-Arab/Muslim relations, and recently demonstrated by the Arab Tsunami, which erupted in 2011 and still rages.

They wish to minimize the impact of rogue regimes, and therefore are apprehensive about the nature of the proposed Palestinian state, in view of the rogue Palestinian inter-Arab track record, which has transformed Palestinians into an intra-Arab role model of subversion, terrorism, treachery and ingratitude.

*They are anxious about the erosion of the US posture of deterrence, which is their most critical component of national security, and alarmed about the 43-year-old US diplomatic option toward Iran’s Ayatollahs, which has bolstered the Ayatollahs’ terroristic, drug trafficking and ballistic capabilities. They are also concerned about the US’ embrace of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is the largest Sunni terrorist entity with religious, educational, welfare and political branches. And, they are aware of the ineffectiveness of NATO (No Action Talk Only?), the European vacillation, and the vulnerability of all other Arab countries.

Israel’s role

*Saudi Arabia and the Arab partners to peace accords with Israel feel the machetes of the Ayatollahs and the Moslem Brotherhood at their throats. They consider Israel as the most reliable “life insurance agent” in the region.  They view Israel as the most effective US force-multiplier in the Middle East, and appreciate Israel’s proven posture of deterrence; flexing its military muscles against Iran’s Ayatollahs in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran itself and against Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorism. They respect Israel’s unique counter-terrorism intelligence and training capabilities, and its game-changing military and counter-terrorism battle tactics and technologies.

*The Arab view of Israel as a reliable partner on “a rainy day” has been bolstered by Israel’s willingness to defy US pressure, when it comes to Israel’s most critical national security and historic credos (e.g., Iran, Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria).  In addition, Saudi Arabia and Israel’s peace-partners aim to leverage Israel’s good-standing among most Americans – and therefore among most Senators and House Representatives – as a venue to enhance their military, commercial and diplomatic ties with the US.

*Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are preoccupied with the challenge of economic diversification, realizing that they are overly-reliant on oil and natural gas, which are exposed to price-volatility, depletion and could be replaced by emerging cleaner and more cost-effective energy.

Thus, they consider Israel’s ground-breaking technologies as a most effective vehicle to diversify their economy, create more jobs in non-energy sectors, and establish a base for alternative sources of national income, while bolstering homeland and national security.

*The Abraham Accords – as well as Israel’s peace accords with Egypt and Jordan – and the unprecedented expansion of defense and commercial cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Israel, demonstrate that critical Arab national security interests may supersede fundamental tenets of Islam, such as the 1,400-year-old rejection of any “infidel” sovereignty in “the abode of Islam.”  Moreover, critical national security interests may lead to a dramatic moderation of the (Arab) education system, which is the most authentic reflection of one’s vision and policies.

Thus, contrary to the Palestinian Authority, the United Arab Emirates has uprooted hate-education curriculum, replacing it with pro-Israel/Jewish curriculum.

Abraham Accords’ durability

*The success of the Abraham Accords was a result of avoiding the systematic mistakes committed by the US State Department. The latter has produced a litany of failed peace proposals, centered on the Palestinian issue, while the Abraham accords bypassed the Palestinian issue, avoiding a Palestinian veto, and focusing on Arab interests. Therefore, the durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the interests of the respective Arab countries, and not on the Palestinian issue, which is not a top priority for any Arab country.

*The durability of the Abraham Accords depends on the stability of the individual Arab countries and the Middle East at-large.

*The Abraham Accord have yielded initial and unprecedented signs of moderation, modernity and peaceful coexistence, which requires the US to support the respective pro-US Arab regimes, rather than pressuring them (e.g., Saudi Arabia and the UAE).

*However, one should not ignore the grave threats to the durability of the accords, posed by the volcanic nature of the unstable, highly-fragmented, unpredictable, violently intolerant, non-democratic and tenuous Middle East (as related to intra-Arab relations!).  These inherent threats would be dramatically alleviated by a resolute US support.

*A major threat to the Abraham Accord is the tenuous nature of most Arab regimes in the Middle East, which yields tenuous policies and tenuous accords. For example, in addition to the Arab Tsunami of 2010 (which is still raging on the Arab Street), non-ballot regime-change occurred (with a dramatic change of policy) in Egypt (2013, 2012, 1952), Iran (1979, 1953), Iraq (2003, 1968, 1963-twice, 1958), Libya (2011, 1969), Yemen (a civil war since the ’90s, 1990, 1962), etc.

*Regional stability, the Abraham Accords and US interests would be undermined by the proposed Palestinian state west of the Jordan River (bearing in mind the intra-Arab Palestinian track record). It would topple the pro-US Hashemite regime east of the River; transforming Jordan into another platform of regional and global Islamic terrorism, similar to Libya, Syria, Iraq and Yemen; triggering a domino scenario, which would threaten every pro-US Arab oil-producing country in the Arabian Peninsula; yielding a robust tailwind to Iran’s Ayatollahs, Russia and China and a major headwind to the US.

*While Middle East reality defines policies and accords as variable components of national security, the topography and geography of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Golan Heights are fixed components of Israel’s minimal security requirements in the reality of the non-Western Middle East. Israel’s fixed components of national security have secured its survival, and have dramatically enhanced its posture of deterrence. They transformed the Jewish State into a unique force and dollar multiplier for the US.

*The more durable the Abraham Accords and the more robust Israel’s posture of deterrence, the more stable the pro-US Arab regimes and the Middle East at-large; the more deterred are anti-US rogue regimes; the less potent are Middle Eastern epicenters of anti-US terrorism and drug trafficking; the more bolstered is the US global posture and the weaker is the posture of the US’ enemies and adversaries.

*Would the Arab regimes of the Abraham Accords precondition their critical ties with Israel upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, which they view as a rogue element? Would they sacrifice their national security and economic interests on the altar of the Palestinian issue? Would they cut off their nose to spite their face?

The fact that these Arab regimes concluded the Abraham Accords without preconditioning it upon Israeli concessions to the Palestinians, and that they limit their support of the Palestinians to talk, rather than walk, provides an answer to these three questions.

Support Appreciated






The post-1967 turning point of US-Israel cooperation

Israeli benefits to the US taxpayer exceed US foreign aid to Israel

Iran - A Clear And Present Danger To The USA

Exposing the myth of the Arab demographic time bomb