Imam Khamenei

Khorramshahr, victory against Arrogant Powers with empty hands

The liberation of Khorramshahr in 1361 (May 24, 1982) was a great victory. It was an impressive achievement. It was important in terms of its political, social, and military repercussions. It was an impressive achievement in all aspects. All people from different parts of the country contributed to the liberation of Khorramshahr. I was the president at that time. Several presidents - from 6 or 7 countries - travelled to our country and met with me. They explicitly told me that after the great victory, our situation was different from the past. That shows the impressive national and international dimensions of the victory. [Sep 7, 2009]


The manifestation of divine power in the liberation of Khoramshahr

The famous quotation by our magnanimous Imam (r.a.) - that is, "Khorramshahr was liberated by God" - is the most accurate and the wisest comment that has been made in this regard. Just like the verse "So you did not slay them, but it was Allah Who slew them, and you did not smite when you smote (the enemy), but it was Allah Who smote." [The Holy Quran, 8: 17] The power of Allah the Exalted was manifested in the hearts, iron determination, patience, strong arms and innovation of our soldiers. The enemy was dependent on its material power. It goes without saying that material power cannot stand up against such manifestations of spirituality and humanity. This has always been the case, and today material powers - with all their power, money, industrial development, advanced technology and scientific advances - are not able to stand up against a group of people who rely on faith, determination, effort and selflessness as their standard. [May 24, 2010]


The miracle of conquering Khoramshahr

I would like to remember "Mohammad Jahanara," the dear martyr of Khorramshahr, and the other martyrs who resisted in the oppressed city of Khorramshahr. In those days, I witnessed the events firsthand in Ahvaz. In fact, Khorramshahr had no armed force. I don’t mean it didn't have 120,000 troops, it didn't even have 10,000 or 5,000 troops. The late martyr Aqarebparast - who was a very committed military officer - had brought a few broken-down tanks from Khosroabad to Khorramshahr and had them repaired. (Although, this happened later on. In the main part of Khorramshahr, there weren’t any forces). Mohammad Jahanara and our other young men resisted the invading Iraqi forces – a well-equipped Iraqi armored division with a special brigade and 90 artilleries - that targeted Khorramshahr day and night for 35 days. As missiles were fired at Baghdad, heavy mortars and artillery shells rained down on people's homes in Khorramshahr. Under such conditions, our youth resisted for 35 days, whereas Baghdad surrendered in three days! Iranian people! Be proud of these young people and combatants. Later, when they wanted to take back Khorramshahr, the IRGC, the army, and the Mobilized Resistance Forces besieged Khorramshahr with much fewer troops than the Iraqi forces and captured about 15,000 Iraq soldiers in one or two days. This 8-Year Imposed War is an amazing story with many lessons. I don't know why some people fail to communicate the admirable events of the imposed war. [April 11, 2003]


One should not become dispirited in the face of defeats

If people are supposed to become disappointed, we should have become disappointed and retreated hundreds of time during the time of revolutionary activities and hundreds of time during the eight-year imposed war. They used to pour into people's houses, beat them in front of their wife and children, and take them away in chains. They did worse things as well.

If one is supposed to become disappointed and unhappy because of receiving a blow and – as that dear girl said – being beaten, those who used to fight during the time of revolutionary activities should have become disappointed as well, but they did not. If they had become disappointed, the cause would not have achieved victory. The same is true of the war. During the war too, it occurred many times that the things that we had planned and predicted did not happen. For example, during Operation Ramadhan, we used to think that the operation would succeed. It was summer and the weather was very hot. It was the month of Ramadhan and many of our youths were martyred and the operation failed. But did we become disappointed? Did our youth become disappointed?

The same is true of Operation Karbala-4 and the initial Val Fajr operation. In the initial Operation Val Fajr, a large number of basijis joined the front lines and they had specified a certain zone. We were almost sure that we would move forward in that operation and that we would succeed. The operation was supposed to be carried out in Amarah, Iraq. However, it had been betrayed and it failed in a peculiar manner. If we were supposed to become disappointed with every temporary defeat and retreat, nothing would have been achieved. This should not be the case. Hopelessness should never enter your lives because of some temporary and periodic failures. [Jun 7, 2017]


The cultivation of the youth; the great achievement of the Islamic Revolution

They [the Iranian warriors in the sacred defence] had wisdom and acumen. If we think that they [defenders of Iran] only lowered their heads and struck at the enemy without any knowledge, this is a mistake. They used to fight with acumen and wisdom. The movement of our youth, in the arena of war, was a movement of intelligence and wisdom: they had wisdom, acumen, courage, boldness, self-sacrifice, and piety. During the day, they were the roaring lions of the arena, in the real sense of the word; and, at night, they were devout worshippers and supplicants in a real sense of the word. They were the lions of the day and the worshippers of the night: they were like this.

That is why Imam Khomeini issued a message in one of his very deep speeches: it happened following the liberation of one city. During the year 1981 an Iranian city was liberated: it was the liberation of Bostan, which was very important. After retreating, for a while, and after various failures, the liberation of Bostan was considered a great victory. Of course, what I will say is simply the gist of what he said. The exact quotation exists in the book: The Sahifa of Imam. He said that the most important victory is not about liberating a city, rather, the most important victory is cultivating and producing such youth: this is the most important victory, and this is really the case.

The most important victory for a country is achieved when its youth are intelligent, wise, religious, pious, and interested in supplication, shedding tears, worshipping God, and showing resistance in the face of the enemy. They should also have insight so they will not be deceived by propaganda campaigns that the enemies and their cohorts have launched, at all times, including the present time. [Mar 10, 2018]


A comparison of the military strengths of Iran and Iraq during the 8-Year Holy Defense

At the beginning of the war, the troops of Saddam's regime were limited in number; and they had below average resources; but, with the passage of time – over a few years – these resources increased daily. However, war destroys resources. For example, at the beginning of the war we had tanks, but some of them were destroyed; we had some cannons, but many of them were ruined; we had ammunition, but all were used up; these things are naturally consumed during a war: war reduces resources. As the war went on, the resources of the Ba'athist regime increased. Who gave them these resources [weapons]? [It was]France, England, Germany, and the US.

The Soviet Union, too, despite the fact that it was against the US, cooperated with the US on this matter. There was a special reason for the Soviet Union’s actions: they had a fairly large number of Islamic republics. The Islamic movement and the Islamic Revolution of Iran would lead those republics to think about their Islamic identity. The Soviet government was not ready to tolerate this. As a result, the USSR stood alongside its old enemy, the US, on this issue–the issue of the war against Iran. So, those powers were compromised by the US, the Soviet Union, NATO, the member states of NATO comprised of European countries, the US and the like–and all other dominant powers in the world. They stood behind Saddam and against the Islamic Republic to destroy it: this was their goal.

The goal was not to conquer Khorramshahr, Qasr-e Shirin, and other such cities; rather, the goal was to occupy the whole of Iran. Saddam once said: "I am giving an interview here today, but next week I will be giving one in Tehran." They had prepared for such events: this [ultimate control of Iran] was the reason behind the eight-year war. The imposed war was a major international plot, hatched by the most powerful governments of the world, against the newly-emerged Islamic Republic. It appeared as if all the wild animals were out to attack a lonely, unarmed, and defenseless creature; in fact, it was much like this.

During the era of the defensive war, the Islamic Republic did not have an organized armed force nor did it have a systematic or disciplined intelligence service. It was the beginning of the Revolution and everything was a mess. The only thing that the Islamic Republic had was religiously devout people and a powerful leader like our magnanimous Imam [Khomeini]: this was the only thing that the people had. In the middle of the war, France gave its most advanced airplanes and helicopters to Iraq; and Germany provided Saddam's regime with chemical and toxic substances so that he could use them on the front lines.

[Ironically,] Those who are often attacking countries today, with accusations of chemical weapons use, officially and publicly gave chemicals to Saddam for making chemical bombs, and other chemical weapons, to use on the front lines. After the passage of 30 years, since the end of the war—almost 29 years have passed–we still have a fairly large number of soldiers suffering from the impacts of chemical weapons exposure. And many of them were martyred on this holy defensive path. It was the British and the Americans who caused this [destruction and injuries]. They helped him [Saddam] with war plans and satellites; all satanic apparatuses around the world helped that wretched, arrogant, and selfish Satanist–Saddam—against the Islamic Republic: they helped him with the intention of beginning, continuing, and ending the war in his favor.

Of course, all those efforts were like a bullet that targets rocks and soil. For eight years they killed themselves to usurp just one inch of the Islamic Republic's soil, but they failed. [Mar 10, 2018]



  • Iran
  • Khorramshahr
  • Mohammad Jahanara
  • sacred defense
  • Saddam
  • Victory