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July 10, 2015 10:32 am

Inciting Iranian Youth

avatar by Ruthie Blum

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Cleric puts combat headbands on uniformed children holding weapons during City of Resistance Games. Photo: MEMRI.

Cleric puts combat headbands on uniformed children holding weapons during City of Resistance Games. Photo: MEMRI.

On June 27, right before the previous deadline determined by the P5+1 powers and the Islamic Republic of Iran to reach a nuclear deal, the municipality of Mashhad in northeastern Iran initiated a special program for kids. The nine-day event, promoted by the mullah-led regime in Tehran, took place in the framework of the 10th International Quran and Family Expo. It ended on July 6, the eve of the date when the nuclear negotiators had hoped to sign an agreement.

Called “The City of Resistance Games,” the program provided a host of activities for young children and teenagers. According to the Middle East Media Research Institute, which released a special dispatch on this semi-summer camp, all the activities were aimed at indoctrinating participants in the justice of the fight against Iran’s enemies, chief among them the United States and Britain. You know, two of the countries in the midst of deluding themselves that a deal with the Islamic republic would be better for global security.

At the expo, booths were set up where clerics could teach the kids about “Iran’s nuclear aspirations, dealing with the sanctions, support for Yemen and Palestine, Iran’s war against the Islamic State” and other topics, like the purpose and success of the Islamic Revolution, and the way in which Iran has flourished from the sanctions imposed by the West, rather than been hindered by them.

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There were also physical activities for the youth to enjoy. Dressed in combat gear, they entered tunnels, crossed mock minefields and maneuvered obstacle courses. In addition, “they were asked to express their disgust with the American and British governments, and threw figures of President [Barack] Obama into a pool of water to protest American crimes. It was explained to the children that the sanctions against Iran were a plot to vanquish it and deprive it of nuclear technology.”

As an estimated 4,000 Iranian kids were engaged in this particular form of fun, negotiators were working tirelessly in Vienna to work out, this time by July 10, what they continue to claim are complex technical issues.

If by this they mean that Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif keeps upping the ante, the issues are neither complex nor technical. They are plain and simple.

Each time the West capitulates on another clause, Zarif and his team — monitored every step of the way by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — push for more.

It is a tactic that has paid off handsomely. Being in bogus negotiations with a U.S. president whose lame-duck period is best characterized by legacy fantasies makes it easy.

What is not clear is whether Zarif’s regular verbal abuse of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is part of the overall strategy. But even if it is merely due to the Iranian diplomat’s explosive temper, the fact that he has been able to get away with such behavior towards a superior is symbolic of the extent to which Iran has brought the American administration to its knees.

As was pointed out in these pages in February by Elliott Abrams, former deputy national security adviser under George W. Bush, such conduct “undermines the dignity of the individual American negotiator, and of the position of secretary of state, and of our country when … we do nothing. It suggests to the Iranians not only that the individual negotiator will countenance such misconduct, but that in the substance of the negotiations our country will as well — allowing cheating, for example, because we lack the backbone to call it by its proper name. … If the Iranian negotiator can intimidate our negotiator … the lesson we teach Iran is dangerous.”

Indeed. And Iran is nothing if not a quick study. That its children are being taught to hate the United States while connecting nuclear power with the Quran, should be sufficient cause for Obama to halt all talks with the current regime in Tehran and embark on a military operation.

Alas, Obama neither knows nor cares about initiatives like the Resistance Games. He is too busy playing at his own racket. And with our lives.

Ruthie Blum is the web editor of Voice of Israel talk radio (voiceofisrael.com). This article was originally published by Israel Hayom.

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