Between June 27 and July 6, 2015, the municipality of Mashhad, in northeastern Iran, conducted a special initiative for indoctrinating children with anti-West messages. The initiative, "The City Of Resistance Games," which was promoted by the regime, was held at the 10th International Koran and Family Expo. It included booths operated by clerics offering activities for children and teens on topics such as the resistance, knowing Iran's enemies (especially the U.S. and Britain), Iran's nuclear aspirations, dealing with the sanctions, support for Yemen and Palestine, Iran's war against the Islamic State (ISIS), and more.
During the activities, the young participants dressed in combat gear, crossed mock minefields and obstacle courses, and carried out other activities. They were asked to express their disgust with the American and British governments, and threw figures of President 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.
In addition to the activities for children and teens at the City of Resistance Games, Mashhad also held workshops for parents, under the direction of cleric Saeed Akhoundi. He said on July 8, 2015 that some 4,000 children and teens had visited the booths, and called for making the expo permanent.
Mashhad City Official: The Expo Aims To Introduce Children, Teens To The Enemy And The Resistance
Mashhad culture and recreation deputy director Jafar Raeesian told the IRNA news agency on July 3, 2015: "The City of [Resistance] Games has two branches, one for children and one for teens, that present topics such as international issues, the Islamic world, knowing the enemy, and the resistance. Along with fun activities, we held special advisory meetings for the parents of the children and teens who participated in the City of Resistance Games activity. There is also comprehensive cultural activity."
Cleric puts combat headbands on children at City of Resistance Games booth (Source: Qhasednews.com, July 6, 2015)
Children Learn To Hate U.S., British Governments
On July 6, 2015, Ghasednews.com posted an article about the initiative, that stated: "At this City of Games, children become acquainted with the terminology of the resistance and of knowing the enemy, through games, discourse, songs, stories, and atmosphere. The boys enter the Molavi Hall of the City of Resistance Games and learn up-close about the events of the Iran-Iraq War [1980-88] and the enemy's plots against Iran. They enter in groups of 25 or 30, and at the start of the route, they express their disgust with the American and British governments and honor the martyrs of the Iran-Iraq War. Then the cleric begins the program by reading Koranic verses and educating the children and teens about Iran's status.
Cleric teaching children about the enemies of Iran, next to photos of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Source: IRNA, Iran, July 4, 2015)
"Next is the games hall, where, together with sports activity, the children learn about various events that took place in Iran since the victory of the Islamic Revolution."
Expo Activities: Wearing Combat Gear, Crossing "Minefields"
"The children enter a tunnel [chanting] the slogan 'Ya Mahdi,' don combat gear, and enter a minefield; as they cross it, there are various explosions. Then they cross a moving bridge [while chanting] 'Ya Zahra,' and they enter the game hall.
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Children in uniform with battle headbands and rifles (Source: IRNA, Iran, July 4, 2015)
"Further down the course, the cleric discusses the situation in Yemen and the ISIS attacks on Muslim countries, and tells the [children] about the sanctions on Iran and of the achievements that Iran has made because of them.
"The cleric notes that sanctions have been imposed on the Muslims since the days of the Prophet of Islam [Muhammad]... that they are an attempt by the enemies to bring the Muslims to their knees, and that this is why we must use this opportunity to [elevate] the country to its true status. As part of the games, participants are taught about several enemy plots, and the cleric tells them about several incidents, including Iran's efforts to obtain nuclear technology.
"The teens are taught about various topics, including knowing the enemy, understanding Islam's exalted status, and the enemies' fear of the Muslims. They leave the City of Resistance Games with good memories..."
Throwing Figures Of Obama Into A Pool Of Water
"There is also a special program for the girls. They enter the City of [Resistance] Games accompanied by the cleric, and, according to ancient Muslim practice, he makes them pass under a Koran in order to protect them.
"The children then enter a green, flowery area that reminds them of the singing birds and running waters of the gardens of Paradise. They answer several questions about the Koran, and they enjoy the park in one of the gardens of Paradise as a reward. The City of Resistance Games fills with the sounds of children's laughter and joy.
"After a short time, the cleric invites the children to enter a tunnel... At the other end, the cleric welcomes them; each tells of the difficulties they encountered [in the tunnel]. This is when the cleric reminds these heavenly angels: 'If you had brief difficult moments in the tunnel, [know] that there are now poor children in Yemen, Palestine, and other places who spend many hours of their lives trying to take cover from the attacks of the global arrogance [i.e. the West, led by the U.S.], in long, grim tunnels.'
"Then the children throw a figure of Obama into a pool of water, to protest the savage acts of the global arrogance, and trample a model of Obama that forms a bridge for rescuing all the children of the world from oppression and bloodshed.
Children stepping on photos of Obama and Kerry to cross a pool of water (Source: Ghasednews.com, July 6, 2015)
"The children then enter a room [where they receive] bread and a blessing [from the cleric] so that they can thank the divine graces as much as possible. They are taught about the difficult stages of preparing bread and the importance of honoring the divine graces in Islam.
Cleric lecturing the children via puppet show (Source: Ghasednews.com, July 6, 2015)
"Next, the children enter an art room, where they draw and paint pictures about knowing the enemy. They go through a path of spiderwebs, so that they will understand the difficult paths they must cross in the struggle against enemies. From there, they enter a safe haven - a ball pit - and celebrate [victory] over hardship.
"At the end, the cleric presents the children with several exalted Koranic phrases, in a puppet show, and ushers them out of the City of Resistance Games, with a prayer for the liberation of all the oppressed of the world and in the hope that no child will taste the bitterness of war and bloodshed and that all children can live in security and tranquility."
At expo: Uniformed children holding weapons; children crossing "minefield" (Source: Ghasednews.com, July 6, 2015)