Sacred Defense Week starts in Iran on September 21. The Week is annually celebrated nationwide in commemoration of martyrs and war veterans of the Iraqi imposed war on Iran in 1980-88.
Iraq’s eight years of the imposed war claimed lives of 230,000 Iranian soldiers and left near 600,000 war-disabled. While, about 43,000 Iranians were Prisoners of War (PoWs) in Iraq and many others were Missing in Action (MIAs).
Braveness of the Iranian soldiers during those years of war is unprecedented in the history of contemporary conflicts.
Eight-year imposed war is an unforgettable period because all including young people or even teenagers gave all they had even their most valuable property – their lives – to fight against the enemies.
We, all in Iran, owe our power, security and tranquility to martyrs and war veterans of the Iraqi-imposed war.
Iranian officials believe that the culture of martyrdom and sacrifice should be kept alive.
People who have lost their lives when defending holy shrine are those who tried to survive that culture.
Many war veterans say that solidarity and unity among the Iranian soldiers was the secret of victory on the battlefields.
Eight years of war brought glory to the Iranian nation and all Muslims but humiliation to the enemy, and this is one of important achievements of the war.
During those years, the then Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, did in vain whatever he could to defeat Iran.
Saddam even used over and over chemical weapons during the aggression, the use of which had been forbidden based on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) governing international conflicts.
Saddam Hussein used chemical bombings during his country’s aggression on Iran while based on the 1925 Geneva Protocol “the use of chemical and biological weapons in war” is prohibited. The Protocol entered into force three years after signing.
Once, Nasser Afshari- a victim of the chemical weapons- told IRNA that even if the animals got access to chemical weapons, they would not use them; however, Saddam used.
“Chemical weapon means suffocation, i.e. you cannot breathe, so that you cannot live,” Afshari said in his interview with IRNA last June.
When Iraqi war planes targeted city of Sardasht in northwestern Iranian province of West Azarbaijan on June 28, 1987, with chemical weapons, over 100 citizens of the city were martyred and thousands of the people were wounded by deadly chemical attacks.
People in Iran still suffer from the effects of the bombings; meanwhile, they mark Sacred Defense as it remembers braveness and greatness of their fellow countrymen and countrywomen, the braveness which has brought the Iranian nation the great glory.
Translated by: Marjan Heydari Rad
Edited by: Safar Sarabi
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