US Foreign Policy
Data Tool
CSPA Implementation Tracker

Country Profiles

Monitoring U.S. government efforts to leverage arms sales and military assistance to prevent the recruitment and use of child soldiers
Part of the Child Soldiers Project

Iran

Country Profile
Years Listed

Each shaded box corresponds to a year the country appeared on the CSPA list and what types of waivers it received, if any.

Iran first appeared on the CSPA list in 2018 and has appeared every year since for a total of three years. Iran has never been eligible to receive any CSPA-relevant arms sales or U.S. military assistance since the law took effect.

According to the U.S. State Department, Iranian government forces – including the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the Iranian Basij Resistance Force (Basij) – as well as militias that are led or financially supported by the Iranian government – including the Fatemiyoun Brigade, Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq, Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, and Abu Fadhl al-Abbas Brigade – have used and recruited child soldiers. For several years, IRGC and Basij forces have reportedly recruited and used children, often through force or coercion, to fight in Iranian-led militias in Syria, including the Fatemiyoun Brigade. Basij forces also reportedly trained child soldiers in Syria. Additionally, the Iranian government reportedly provided funding to Abu Fadhl al-Abbas Brigade, which used children in combat in Iraq in 2016, and continues to fund Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq and Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba, which use child soldiers in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. The government did not take measures to prevent child soldier use and recruitment between April 2019 and March 2020. In May 2019, Iran’s Minister of Education promoted the use of child soldiers for fighting in Iraq.

For more information, see the U.S. State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report and Country Reports on Human Rights Practices.

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