sacred defense

Iran's resistance against Saddam can be a model for other nations: Imam Khamenei

The resistance that the people of Iran showed was not an ordinary one, rather it was a kind of resistance that can be considered as a model and a lesson for other peoples. And it was considered to be so during the Sacred Defense Era. 

The Sacred Defense Era deserves to be commemorated, endeared, and guarded. This is because those eight years–eight years of Sacred Defense–became a guarantee of Iran's credibility, the identity of our nation, Iran's security, and the dignity of the Iranian people.

If you would examine, deliberate on, and pursue the reality of the eight-year defensive war as much as possible; then, you would surely come to the conclusion that if those eight-years of the Sacred Defense had not existed, with characteristics from that era of our country's history, our country and our people would, definitely, not enjoy dignity, security, health, independence, and freedom today. 

Mar 10, 2018


We defended our homeland

As for the issue of war, first, this war was a defensive one. There are two major differences between a defensive and an offensive war in terms of meaning and content. One difference is that an offensive war is based on transgression and aggression, but this is not the case with a defensive war. The second difference is that a defensive war is a place where zeal, courage and deep loyalty to ideals emerge. These ideals may be related to one's country or more important than that, one's religion, belief and Islam. This does not exist in an offensive war. For example, when America attacks Iraq, an American soldier cannot claim that he is doing it for the love of his country. What does Iraq have to do with his country? This war is at the service of other goals, but if an Iraqi person resists this military invasion and presence inside his country, this means showing resistance and defending one's country, national identity and those values that one believes in. These two differences exist between a defensive and offensive war.

Our war was a defensive war. The people of Iran showed that they were not willing to invade and to transgress. Rather, they showed that when it comes to defending national identity and those ideals which are even dearer than national identity, their resistance is an instructive resistance. The resistance that the people of Iran showed was not an ordinary one, rather it was a kind of resistance that can be considered as a model and a lesson for other peoples. And it was considered to be so during the Sacred Defense Era. 

Oct 21, 2006

We resisted

In the Sacred Defense Era, during the war that was imposed on us, the materialistic powers of the east and the west– both capitalist and socialist and communist powers– would give the best weapons and resources to Saddam, while our hands were tied. As everyone knew at that time, they would not even sell us barbed wire. This was of course difficult, but this difficulty made our youth, our thinkers and our talented and creative personalities think of liberating us from our dependence on foreign weapons. By Allah’s favor, today our condition in the area of defense resources is better than almost all countries in the region. Our enemies too are stressing this. They too are acknowledging this in order to use it as a tool to exert pressure.

Mar 21, 2019


Whenever we resisted, we achieved a positive result including in the Sacred Defense Era, in various areas, in the case of their security provocations and on economic matters. One day, our annual oil revenues – the only way to earn revenues – reached about six billion dollars. Is there a hardship worse than this? Of course at that time, the population of the country was much smaller but nonetheless five, six billion worth of revenues is nothing for a country. However, we managed to stand firm and resist. The people stood firm. And it was not very difficult. It was not very difficult to stand firm. So resistance is very important.

May 14, 2019

What goal did the warriors pursue by joining the fight?

Another issue is about their ideals. Well, what were the ideals of those youth? What lofty goals did those youth who went there and fought have?  Was the issue confined to a land and border dispute and the like? Was it only about an enemy who had transgressed against our borders and whom we wanted to force into retreat? Was it only about this? What were the ideals of parents? Those parents - who had raised their youth, who were not prepared to see their youth come to any harm, and who did not want their youth to have the slightest disease – sent their youth to the front lines without being sure that they would return. This is very important.

With what ideals did those parents send their youth to war? These points are important. You should pay attention to these points. Many people are trying to keep these points hidden. Their ideal was Islam. Their ideal was God. Their ideal was religious and Islamic government. It was this that drew youth towards the front lines.

Those who do not believe this should take a look at their testaments. Our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) used to say, “May God accept it if you have worshipped Him for 50 years. But you should also go and read these testaments once.” The reason why he said this was that such testaments show for what reason those youth went to the front lines, and what attraction and what magnetic force moved them. These testaments show how they forgot about youthful desires, their lessons, their university, and the comfortable environment of living with their parents, and how they tolerated the cold in the western part of the country or the heat in Khuzestan in order to fight against the enemy and lay down their lives.

Fighting against the enemy looks easy from a long distance away. As long as you do not go there and you do not hear the sound of cannons, guns, explosions and the like, you do not understand correctly what is going on. Those youth went there, jeopardized their lives and went through many dangers. What was the reason? This has been reflected in those testaments. They did so for God, for Imam (r.a.) and for hijab. You have seen what great emphasis has been placed on hijab in martyrs’ testaments. Well, hijab is a religious rule. This ideal that martyrs had should not be forgotten.

It should not be the case that we think that it was only a war like the other wars that others are fighting in all over the world.  We should not think to ourselves, “Every country has an enemy, after all. Sometimes a war breaks out, certain youth go to front lines and they fight. And eventually, they are killed, injured or return home alive. This war was like the other wars.” This was not the issue. The issue was the issue of religion, of divine ideals, of the authority of Islam, of the Revolution and of revolutionary Islam, one that drew the youth to the war.

Sep 26, 2016


  • Iran
  • sacred defense
  • Saddam