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Iranian Paradise Keys

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These might be one of the rarest items I have come across.




Plastic Keys to Paradise
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Plastic keys refers to plastic ‘Keys to Paradise’ allegedly distributed to young Iranian military volunteers during the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988) by the Islamic Republic of Iran leadership.[1] It was reported in the western media that the volunteers were encouraged with the distribution of golden-colored, plastic ‘Paradise Keys’ symbolizing the certain entry into 'paradise' (heaven: al-Janna) awaiting volunteers who were killed.

The claim is disputed[by whom?]. Soldiers were issued metallic identification tags, and/or plastic identification cards, along with a copy of Shaikh Abbass Qumi (d. 1959) prayer book entitled ‘Mafatih al-Janan’ or “Keys to Paradise”. Some[who?] contend this commingling of military and religious items enabled opponents of Khomeini to misrepresent that the soldiers had been issued ‘Plastic Keys to Heaven’ – a concept that they hoped would evoke derision in the Western media against Khomeini.[2]

Seyed Mohammad Marandi, in a peer-reviewed article published in the Comparative American Studies journal, considered the "absurdity" of the plastic keys claims (for which he would like to see an evidence of, as a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war) and similar allegations, a feature of orientalist discourse which is not challenged by its Western audience, "as they reinforce the dominant representations of Iran in America by constructing an exotic Iran principally derived from US archives".[3]

While covering the ‘Imposed War’ a New York Times reporter claimed that: “I saw Iranian soldiers ready for battle wearing small gold keys on their uniforms where other soldiers might wear medals. They were the keys that would immediately take their souls to heaven if they should die.”[4] No photographs of the keys have appeared






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  • 6 years later...

The depicted picture above shows ID "dog tags" worn by Iraq soldiers -- not the controversial "Plastic Keys to Heaven/Paradise" allegedly worn by Iranian teenagers ordered to clear minefields by charging over them. {I mean, do they even LOOK like a key?] The above photo shows Arabic wording that is used in Iraq, while if they were Iranian they would be in the similar-looking, but different Farsi (Persian) language. Also, the above photo shows a Soimanian holy shrine in Iraq -- not Iran. Furthermore, "Mondo" commented that they "were found a a dead RG [iraq Republic Guard] officer that was killed by a [u.S.?] Marine in DS [Desert Storm]". I am unaware of any U.S. Marine killing Iraq RG officers or IRGC [iran Revolutionary Guard Corps] officers inside Iran during DS. So they are indeed, clearly, Iraq ID tags. Still, very cool!

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