The imprisoned Iranian child soldiers are seen in this French-language video footage, many of them maimed and traumatized, are interviewed by French activists visiting Iraqi prisons, along with representatives of the International Red Cross.
Many of the children are amputees or sustained various serious injuries before being captured by Iraqi forces. The boys stress, that they were given no choice by the Iranian regime but to go and fight, with the theocratic regime, simply used them as cannon fodder in its catastrophic expansionist sectarian war being waged to build a regional ‘Islamic nation’.
The children reveal that they were brainwashed, drilled into chanting sectarian slogans, and told by the regime military trainers that they would be heroic warriors fighting for justice and would enter paradise if they were “martyred” in battle. They estimate the number killed as being at least 200,000.
The child soldiers reveal that they were sent into battle with plastic keys around their necks personally awarded by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, which were supposedly their keys to enter Paradise if they died in battle. The regime uses this deeply cynical strategy since the child soldiers have very little chance of survival. Quite often, they were simply used literally as human mine-clearers, being sent to run across minefields in order to detonate any mines there so that they rather than the regime soldiers coming after them would be killed. Although 16 was the supposed minimum age to join the regime military, boys as young as 12 have been regularly recruited.