Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

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junkiewriter
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Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by junkiewriter » 06 Feb 2021 18:18

There's this thread from 2009 (viewtopic.php?t=149550) but it was never really expanded upon. I've read many, many accounts from Iranians talking about these keys and how they were shown on national TV as well as many notable historians talk about them but I've yet to see a single photograph or piece of evidence that document their existence.

A Reddit thread asking about them is loaded with pro-Iranian propaganda stating that they never used children as mine sweepers etc. etc. and it's just not reliable - even the wikipedia page reads like something out of an anti-western pamphlet. I've seen a few people try and say that the 'keys' were not actual 'keys' but it's a mistranslation because all soldiers were issued a book called "The Keys to Heaven" but this cannot be true purely due to how many actual Iranians talk about physical keys - they appear in the famous book/film Persepolis as well as in a Nobel Peace Prize winners autobiography ... so what gives? Where are they?

Any info on this would be great, this seems to be the only forum I've found (bar Reddit) that has talked about these keys.

Tamari
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Tamari » 06 Feb 2021 21:16

Hi,

I rembered this story about Iranian "human waves" and "human mines-sweepers" and the less to Heaven kingdom.

I found an article and had translated it with Google translator.

https://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/spiegelg ... 90589.html

QUOTE BEGIN
In 1980, in order to get enough "human material", the Guardian Council reduced the age of majority to 15 years. Pupils are recruited directly from the classrooms, mothers voluntarily deliver their sons. Many of the war volunteers in the Basij militias are children.

Without military training, they are sent to the front. They form "human waves" which, with contempt for death, go hand in hand through the minefields into the enemy machine gun fire. Fanatized by the regime's propaganda, which invokes a "holy campaign", they long to be martyrs to "water the seeds of the revolution" with their blood.

In time, the regime ordered 500,000 Taiwanese plastic keys, penny items with enormous symbolic power. They open the gate of paradise to the "Shahid", the martyr. To inspire the child soldiers' courage to fight, actors on horseback appear at the front, in make-up and costumes. For the Basij they are a reincarnation of the mysterious twelfth imam. Historically, he disappeared in 874 at the age of five; but the Shiites firmly believe in his return.

Khomeini takes advantage of this messianic belief and combines the idea of ​​salvation with the will to sacrifice: the greater the willingness to be martyred, the sooner the imam will return. Twelve-year-olds already go to their deaths with blood-red forehead bands, with a key around their neck.
END QUOTE

As strange its sounds I read more than once about this conduct of warfare and in my opinion this story was pure reality in Iran's Shiite theocracy.

Best regards
Robert

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Hans1906
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Hans1906 » 06 Feb 2021 22:40

Yes,

I have seen several documentaries about the so called "Basidsch-e Mostaz'afin".
Link: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basidsch-e_Mostaz%27afin

And I had several contacts to former refugees from the Iran after the year 2013.

Hans1906

Completely SICK shit, time to hang the Mullahs on their own execution cranes!
We all are very lucky, that still the Israelis have the finger on the final bomb,
otherwise these crazy Mullahs would exterminate all of us infidel europeans, within a minute...

And this is their fear, the Israelis are able to bomb the Iran back into the stone age within 10 minutes.
Do you remember a similar saying from the early 1970s, about Vietnam probably... :wink:
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

junkiewriter
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by junkiewriter » 07 Feb 2021 03:03

Tamari wrote:
06 Feb 2021 21:16
Hi,

I rembered this story about Iranian "human waves" and "human mines-sweepers" and the less to Heaven kingdom.

I found an article and had translated it with Google translator.

https://www.spiegel.de/spiegel/spiegelg ... 90589.html

QUOTE BEGIN
In 1980, in order to get enough "human material", the Guardian Council reduced the age of majority to 15 years. Pupils are recruited directly from the classrooms, mothers voluntarily deliver their sons. Many of the war volunteers in the Basij militias are children.

Without military training, they are sent to the front. They form "human waves" which, with contempt for death, go hand in hand through the minefields into the enemy machine gun fire. Fanatized by the regime's propaganda, which invokes a "holy campaign", they long to be martyrs to "water the seeds of the revolution" with their blood.

In time, the regime ordered 500,000 Taiwanese plastic keys, penny items with enormous symbolic power. They open the gate of paradise to the "Shahid", the martyr. To inspire the child soldiers' courage to fight, actors on horseback appear at the front, in make-up and costumes. For the Basij they are a reincarnation of the mysterious twelfth imam. Historically, he disappeared in 874 at the age of five; but the Shiites firmly believe in his return.

Khomeini takes advantage of this messianic belief and combines the idea of ​​salvation with the will to sacrifice: the greater the willingness to be martyred, the sooner the imam will return. Twelve-year-olds already go to their deaths with blood-red forehead bands, with a key around their neck.
END QUOTE

As strange its sounds I read more than once about this conduct of warfare and in my opinion this story was pure reality in Iran's Shiite theocracy.

Best regards
Robert
Great quote about the 500,000 plastic keys! Didn't expect to get anything this specific, thank you!

junkiewriter
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by junkiewriter » 07 Feb 2021 03:11

Hans1906 wrote:
06 Feb 2021 22:40
Yes,

I have seen several documentaries about the so called "Basidsch-e Mostaz'afin".
Link: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basidsch-e_Mostaz%27afin

And I had several contacts to former refugees from the Iran after the year 2013.

Hans1906

Completely SICK shit, time to hang the Mullahs on their own execution cranes!
We all are very lucky, that still the Israelis have the finger on the final bomb,
otherwise these crazy Mullahs would exterminate all of us infidel europeans, within a minute...

And this is their fear, the Israelis are able to bomb the Iran back into the stone age within 10 minutes.
Do you remember a similar saying from the early 1970s, about Vietnam probably... :wink:
Thank you Hans, I was wondering if, in these documentaries - or indeed your contacts -, are the keys spoken about or shown?

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Hans1906
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Hans1906 » 08 Feb 2021 14:37

junkiewriter,

the men and women from the Iran, were all still quite young people, under the age of 30, these people have not experienced it themselves.
The Iranian terror regime was often a topic in our conversations, but that would go too far here, sorry.

Good people, but all of them never wanted to return to their homeland, some of them were very moving conversations, sad stuff.

Hans1906

P.S. Thanks to Robert for the translation.

* A small detail on the side, the young refugees at that time almost always spoke of Persia, very rarely the term Iran was used.
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

EdelAli
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by EdelAli » 08 Aug 2021 06:16

I remember reading a story from, I guess, NY Times where it said these all had been anti-Iran propaganda at the time. While I'm searching for that specific article, see what I've found from a book review on 'Iraq-Iran war':

"My space is limited, so I will finish with one observation on an anecdote I have seen in writings about this war, implicating the type of authority invested in us as we write about Iran. I have for long seen this reference to officials allegedly placing in combat zone “glowing men” on “white horses” (drawing from religious iconography) or giving the young volunteers a “plastic key” to heaven in order to encourage or deceive them to fight. It is repeated in this volume in several places. I will address it based on my own experience. I was invited to write this review by one of my colleagues who is an Executive Editor of this journal, and I did want not turn him down. I was drafted after high school and served in the conscript army of Iran for two years (1982-1984). I was in training for 3 months and then sent to combat. I was an infantryman and served in the remnants of what used to be, I was told, the Shah’s most prized military units, Gard-e Javidan (which was reconstituted as Lashkar 21 Hamzeh after the revolution). This is how I saw it up close.
I saw no glowing men. I saw no one on a horseback, I didn’t see one damn horse the entire time I was there. No one gave me keys to heaven (plastic, gold, or whatever). No one issued any copies of Quran to me. I saw no one wearing a “green shawl” or someone driving around in batmobile. No one. I was given, however, plenty of free cheap Iranian cigarettes (Bahman and Azadi, they were Iranian brands). Despite what you may have read (p. 123), when I was handed my dog tag, no one encouraged me to die. I was told, instead, “don’t get dead.” When and where I served, if someone were to tell us that we were going to go to heaven or meet up with “72 virgins” later if we die, or some such, we would have laughed at them or told them to fuck off. No one person around me in any capacity seemed capable of saying or taking such lines seriously. In fact, I never heard of such things until I read about them when I moved to the United States to attend college.
Now, you might say, but this is the army and not the volunteer forces such as Revolutionary Guard or the Basiji units. I did run into them too, quite often. We paired up with them during some offensives (amalyeeyat). I hitched rides with them several times and got help from them when I was in a ditch here or there. They probably saved my life more than once. I interacted with some of them, but I cannot speak for them, or all of them. Not one of them seemed eager to die. Not one of them seemed stupid enough to be deceived by a glowing man, a white horse, or a plastic key. Not even one. If anyone’s voice is silenced, it is theirs. I am not talking about Basijis of today, I am talking about the ones who volunteered to fight at that time, the ones who have become a cliché in any writings about that war or postrevolution Iran. I know these young men not from the narratives of journalists, or policymakers or Iranian expats. In my experience and fading memory, they were far more intelligent and aware of what they were doing than what we read about them. The reality is always far more complicated and interesting than the narratives others offer themselves or their publics. Their story, much like the story of this war from the grunt’s point of view, is yet to be told."
https://www.researchgate.net/publication/326857200

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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by EdelAli » 08 Aug 2021 12:22

The story goes something like this: During the Iran-Iraq War, faced with an invading Iraqi army, the outgunned and overwhelmed Islamic Republic of Iran eventually resorted to "human wave" attacks in order to sweep for land mines and absorb Iraqi heavy artillery. The ruling mullahs embarked on a variety of indoctrination campaigns both in public and on the pulpit to mobilize Iran's faithful out to the front lines. In order to entice Iranians to volunteer -- or, in some cases, to volunteer their children -- promises of eternal peace and pleasure in the afterlife were guaranteed.

"Plastic keys, ostensibly good for opening the door to heaven, and to erotic and culinary delights, were ... given to these young men, who walked to their deaths," wrote Stanford University's Abbas Milani in a 2007 essay for Boston Review. The Iranian government was "so certain" that these martyrs would be sacrificed, explained Iran watcher Michael Ledeen back in 2008, "that these little children were provided with plastic keys that were said to open the gates to paradise."

Thus we have the legend of the paradise keys. Many Mideast analysts and observers -- yours truly included -- have referenced these keys throughout the years. In some tellings these keys are said to have been made of plastic -- in others, brass or gold -- and imported from either China or Taiwan. So pervasive is the keys story, that they have even made appearances in relatively obscure (and somewhat disturbing, NSFW) punk and folk songs.

Just one problem: There is virtually no photographic or video evidence that these keys ever existed. I contacted several trusted Iran experts and analysts, and while none were willing to outright reject the validity of the paradise keys story, none had ever seen one, nor could they say with certainty that they ever truly existed.

Upon first appraisal, this might strike someone as rather odd. For a country believed by many to be bent on martyrdom and sacrifice, you would think, said Mideast analyst Meir Javedanfar, that the ruling mullahs would have gone out of their way to preserve and promote these artifacts. "While it is possible that such keys existed," said Javendanfar, "the fact that there is no visual verification of them gives credibility to those who question their existence."

From
https://www.realclearworld.com/articles ... _keys.html

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Sheldrake
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Sheldrake » 08 Aug 2021 14:04

A work colleague served in the Iranian army in the 1980s He served in a battery of M107 or M110 SP guns, losing nine out of twelve to counter battery fire. I'll ask him.

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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Linkagain » 07 Oct 2021 13:57

I remember years ago National geographic had a article on the Iran-Iraq War...Iraq POWS in a Camp..and Irans,,,a tenager who claimed he was ready to die for islam...On his clothing was the words "Death to Israel"
It also had 1 photograp a painting of a young girl holding flowers to the mouth of a dying Jihad soldier...
On page 276 from "The National Geographic Society 100 Years of Adventure and Science" is a 1984 picture of
dozens artifiail legs for those who survive the Human Waves and a picture of Khomeni over all {NG July 1985]

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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Linkagain » 07 Oct 2021 14:20


Nemmexe
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Nemmexe » 10 Oct 2021 21:01

Sheldrake wrote:
08 Aug 2021 14:04
A work colleague served in the Iranian army in the 1980s He served in a battery of M107 or M110 SP guns, losing nine out of twelve to counter battery fire. I'll ask him.
Can you please ask about the unit, date and location, please? I know several similar cases, but I'm sure some of them are wrong.

Iranian Army Artillery Battalions were started by digit 3, any 3XX is an artillery battalion. 2XX for Armoured, 1XX for Infantry, 4XX for Engineers, and 5XX for Medical battalions.

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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Nemmexe » 10 Oct 2021 21:15

Hans1906 wrote:
06 Feb 2021 22:40
Yes,

I have seen several documentaries about the so called "Basidsch-e Mostaz'afin".
Link: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basidsch-e_Mostaz%27afin

And I had several contacts to former refugees from the Iran after the year 2013.

Hans1906

Completely SICK shit, time to hang the Mullahs on their own execution cranes!
We all are very lucky, that still the Israelis have the finger on the final bomb,
otherwise these crazy Mullahs would exterminate all of us infidel europeans, within a minute...

And this is their fear, the Israelis are able to bomb the Iran back into the stone age within 10 minutes.
Do you remember a similar saying from the early 1970s, about Vietnam probably... :wink:
Dear Hans,

I don't know how much are you (or any other member) familiar with the Arabic language and how it works. The word "مستضعف" or as in romanised version "Mostaz'af", it means something like the poor / ill / weak people, something like most of French people back in French Revolution era! Or those who survived Nazi Germany s Concentration Camps as often are showed in documents and movies.

It would be too much complicated if I wanted to talk about Arabic language Grammar and what truly that words is and what function does it have, but 100 percent sure, anyone understood it by given examples.

And the Basij is something like Volksturm (sorry for mistype, if there is any), and the IRGC is exactly SS, it is a paramilitary organisation based on ideologies of ruling regime. however I personally have more respect to SS personnel rather than IRGC personnel.

And I totally agree with all of your other words. And be sure that day will come. They will pay for their crimes. Not only them, but those who put them on work, and those who supported them. A real bloodshed that WW2 losses will be nothing when compared the killed ones.

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Hans1906
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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Hans1906 » 11 Oct 2021 12:01

I have written my above contribution in a certain rage, after I had to read, and also see,
that even very young people in Iran today are also executed publicly in the cruelest way.

The real facts are disturbing, inhumane, a reflection of the regime there.
I don't want to go on about it, please, because that would mean my immediate expulsion from this forum, for sure.

Hans

P.S. Thanks for your detailed information, very valuable!
Es ist im Leben wichtig, viel zu wissen.
Manchmal ist es noch wichtiger, zu wissen, daß man nichts weiß.

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Re: Does anybody have any information about the "Heaven Keys" in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988)

Post by Nemmexe » 11 Oct 2021 16:25

I completely understand you, Hans, and again, completely agree with you.

In total, many younger Iranian's, including myself, believe that the quality of life was way better than what it is nowadays, of course if you can name it a "living" ...

I wonder if we are allowed to talk about "crimes" done by Iranian Regime and its subordinated terrorist groups in the War crimes section of the forum or not.

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