TEHRAN -- Marking the start of the Sacred Defense Week, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says the Iranian nation will never forget the sacrifices made by the martyrs of the eight-year war waged by former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein against Iran.
“The Sacred Defense Week is enriched with the names and memories of the great martyrs. Their sincere sacrifices and that of other [warriors] brought victory for the Iranian nation, and their pure blood recorded the legitimacy of the Islamic Republic on the face of history,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote in a message on Thursday.
Noting that wherever there are sincere efforts, there will be victory and pride, the Leader said, “This is the great lesson of those models of self-sacrifice.”
“And the Iranian nation will never forget this honorable legacy, inshallah (God willing),” he added according to Press TV.
Iraq waged a war against Iran more than one and a half years after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the U.S.-backed Pahlavi regime.
During the war, Iraq was fully supported by the U.S. and its allies, while the same countries denied Iran access to foreign arms.
Each year, on the first day of the national sacred defense week, which marks the beginning of the imposed war, Iran holds military parades and puts on display the latest domestically-manufactured arms and military equipment across the country as a show of might against the backdrop of the U.S.-led arms embargoes.
Marking the beginning of this year’s Sacred Defense Week on Wednesday, Basij volunteer forces held a naval parade in the Persian Gulf with hundreds of vessels.
In a statement on Friday, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) hailed the victorious defense of the Iranian nation during Iraq’s imposed war in the 1980s as an “undeniable truth” and a guarantor of the expulsion of American forces from the region.
The IRGC said the war cannot be attributed to former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein as Western media propaganda does, but rather, it was an all-out world war to obliterate the Islamic Revolution and restore their previous domination over the Iranian nation’s destiny.
“The imposed eight-year war against the Iranian nation violated international principles and law and disrupted regional stability,” it said.
The force said the war’s “devastating effects on regional security with the support of arrogant and domineering powers, led by the terrorist and war-thirsty U.S. government and the cooperation of the reactionary [regimes] of the region with the aggressor, led to the continuation of the aggression as well as other wars in the strategic region of the Persian Gulf and West Asia.”
In its statement, the IRGC cited the achievements of Iran’s historic and sacred defense, saying that establishing stability and national security, boosting the capabilities of the Islamic Iran, producing a spirit of self-confidence and self-reliance, and proving the effectiveness of Iran’s religious and political system are among the accomplishments of the Iranian nation’s victory.
The 8-year sacred defense set up the foundation for the emergence of the axis of Islamic resistance in West Asia and set in motion the decline and defeat of two super-powers of those days, namely the Soviet Union and the United States, the IRGC added.
It also hinted at the “disgraceful escape” of American forces from Afghanistan and expressed optimism that the U.S. would be expelled from the entire region in the near future.
The sacred defense of the Iranian nation “heralds the development of a smart and powerful resistance and the realization of the will of the Islamic Ummah (community) in expelling the U.S. from the region and removing the cancerous tumor of the Zionist regime from the geography of Islam,” it said.