Hatred towards America is a key part of the Shia Islamist ideology
Hatred towards America is a key part of the Shia Islamist ideologyCredit: Reuters

Iranian school textbooks, like those of other nations, imbue youngsters with their countries' most important values. In Iran, studies show, this means apocalyptic war and victory over the USA and the West.

Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, an expert on Middle Eastern affairs who served in the past as liaison between Israel and the U.S. Congress, notes this sample: In a 12th grade textbook entitled The Qur'an and Life, p. 125, Iranian high school seniors learn of the Ayatollahs' sublime goal: the battle against the USA and other "arrogant oppressors of the world," led by "idolatrous devils" – a battle that is already raging throughout the world, awaiting the students' sacrifice.

Iranian affairs expert Prof. Eldad Pardo of Hebrew University in Jerusalem has researched Iran's school textbooks over the last 10 years. He published a report this past May for the Institute of Monitoring Peace and Tolerance in School Education (IMPACT-SE), in which he wrote, "Iran has created a war curriculum to prepare an entire generation for global war, based on Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's vision of collective martyrdom…  The battle between the new Islamic (Iranian) civilization and the evil Western civilization is seen as one between good and evil, and is being waged on a global scale…. The school textbooks prepare the Iranian people for a constant state of emergency, requiring Iranians to foment revolutions throughout the world…"

Ettinger calls upon the US Congress to hold hearings on this educational phenomenon, especially considering that "school textbooks are considered by the Ayatollahs a critical means to mobilize the youth, charting the roadmap to the final military victory over the infidel USA and the West. Hence, the crucial relevance of school textbooks to the Congressional debate on" the nuclear agreement with Iran.

IMPACT-SE has engaged since 1998 in the research of school textbooks, teacher's guides and curricula used in the Palestinian Authority, Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Iran. Its dozen reports have been used by members of the US Congress, the EU Parliament and the Israeli Knesset, to demand changes in the curricula and textbooks of Middle East countries.

Pardo cites an 11th grade textbook in Iran entitled Defense Readiness which praises the half-million school children who were sent to the front during the 80's war against Iraq to run over minefields and clear the ground for the Iranian ground assault.

Iranian children are prodded to martyrdom, even in defiance of their parents: "The defense of Islam and Muslims is a duty, and does not require parents' approval" (Religious Rulings, Grade 11, p.14). Prof. Pardo notes that there is a new emphasis on girl martyrs (Defense Readiness, Grade 11, and Sociology 1, Grade 11).

Religious Rulings (Grade 11, p. 12) teaches that the eternal Jihad means a battle in accordance with God's way, in the defense of Muslims and the oppressed. The chapter on "Defense and Jihad" stipulates that a battle could mean killing, massacring, murdering and/or fighting.

Based on these and many other messages in Iranian textbooks, Ettinger concludes, "Iranian children study that in times of need, dissimulation and deceptive peace pacts… are proper, but only until such time as the balance of power should change.  In fact, we know from Khamenei's own words that the nuclear negotiations are predicated on the conclusion of a provisional treaty with an illegitimate [infidel] government, while not forsaking the permanent vision - based on the 661 CE Treaty between Imam Hassan and Caliph Muʻawiyah, intending only to gain time, building power and gradually undermining rival dynasties— but never genuinely reconciling (Religion and Life, Grade 12, p. 104)."