Iranian Video Games Teach Military Strikes on Israel

'Anti-Zionist' game urges destruction of Jewish state

Iran's President Hassan Rouhani smiles while replying to a question during a news conference on the sidelines of the 69th United Nations General Assembly at United Nations Headquarters in New York September 26

Hassan Rouhani / AP

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An entity controlled by the Iranian government has released an "anti-Zionist" video game entitled "Missile Strike," in which players are taught how to launch Iranian missile strikes on Israeli cities, according to an official report by the CIA's Open Source Center (OSC) obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.

The anti-Israel video game was widely released for cellphones by Iran's state-controlled Fars News Agency, which is closely aligned with the country's military apparatus. The game was publicly released just three days before the signing of a nuclear accord with the United States and world powers.

OSC warns that the game is just the latest in a string of violent pieces of propaganda aimed at spreading the Iranian government's extremist ideology.

It also comes on the heels of several real life war drills with Russian naval forces and the announcement that the Islamic Republic is gearing up to launch live missile drills, despite international agreements barring such action.

The anti-Israel game is the "latest in a series of politically inspired Iranian video games that advance a hardline narrative," OSC wrote in the brief, which is unclassified but marked for official use only. "These games appear to be an attempt by the Iranian regime to spread its political message among Iranian youth."

Fars itself has stated "that the ‘anti-Zionist' game, titled ‘Missile Strike,' allows users to launch Iranian Zelzal, Zolfaqer, or Sijal missiles at large Israeli cities, including Haifa and Tel Aviv," according to OSC’s analysis.

The timing of the game's release is significant. It came as interest in the nuclear deal was at its height and appears to be an attempt to maximize exposure of the regime's anti-Israel views among the Iranian youth.

"Fars News may have released the game at a time of high popular political interest—three days before the announcement of the JCPOA—to maximize the audience for the game among Iranian youth," the brief notes.

The release of the game also coincided with Iran's annual Quds Day, in which millions take to the streets to protest Israel and call for the death of Jews and Americans.

"‘Missile Strike' was not the first video game Fars News released at a critical political juncture," the brief adds. "It published ‘Gulf of Aden' on 8 February—two days after a takeover of the government by Huthi rebels in Yemen."

Fars also has claimed that the latest anti-Israel game was released in "retaliation" for a Swedish video game, Battlefield 3, which features a military invasion of Iran.

The Gulf of Aden game was created by the Iranian army, according to the report, which notes that the game bears the military's official logo.

"This video game allows the user to experience ‘Iranian Navy's mighty presence in the international waters' by allowing the user to fight forces in the Gulf of Aden through the avatar of an Iranian service member," according to OSC’s analysis.

It has become one of the most bought and played games in Iran, according to Iranian officials.

Michael Rubin, a former Pentagon adviser and expert on rogue regimes, warned that Iran is conducting "a full-court propaganda press" to promote its hatred of American and Israel.

"The most frustrating thing about Obama's outreach to Iran is that the Iranian government doesn't pretend to be anything it's not," Runin said. "Ideologically, the Iranian regime has a single-minded focus: Destroy Israel. It's an offensive, aggressive obsession."

Iran makes no secret of its desire to destroy Israel.

Iran "produces movies that depict Israel's destruction, teaches that Israelis should be killed, makes ‘death to Israel' a regular refrain at Friday prayers, and now seeks to indoctrinate a new generation of Iranians into casually making Israel's destruction part of their life's mission as well," Rubin explained.

"We could dismiss this sort of thing as nonsense, but remember that when IRGC missile chief Hassan Moghadam was killed in an explosion back in November 2011, his last will and testament declared that his epitaph should read, ‘The man who enabled Israel's destruction,'" Rubin said.

The release of the video games coincide with real world military displays by Iran in recent weeks since the nuclear accord was signed.

Iranian and Russian naval forces teamed up this week to run war drills and hold meetings about increased military coordination.

Iranian military officials announced several days later that that they would be launching missiles in a future series of war drills.

Iranian military leaders said the missile drills aim to highlight the Islamic Republic’s "military might" in light of recent comments by U.S. officials saying that a military option against Iran remains on the table.

The missile drills came as a result of a direct order by Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Adam Kredo   Email Adam | Full Bio | RSS
Adam Kredo is senior writer reporting on national security and foreign policy matters for the Washington Free Beacon. An award-winning political reporter who has broken news from across the globe, Kredo’s work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, the Weekly Standard, Commentary Magazine, the Drudge Report, and the Jerusalem Post, among many others. His Twitter handle is @Kredo0. His email address is kredo@freebeacon.com.

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