June 20 in the Iranian calendar stands for the martyrdom of the Iranian scientist and brave combatant, Shahid Mostafa Chamran.
Mostafa Chamran Savei was an Iranian scientist who served as defense minister and member of parliament, as well as commander of paramilitary volunteers in the Sacred Defense against the western backed invading Saddam forces.
Chamran was martyred in 1981 in action during the course of the war.
Born in 1932 in Tehran, he became a young student of late Ayatollah Taleqani and martyred professor Morteza Motahari. He graduated from Tehran University.
In the late 1960s, he moved to the United States for higher education, obtaining an M.S. degree from the Texas A&M University. He then went on to obtain his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Physics in Plasma in 1963 from the University of California, Berkeley.
He was then hired as a senior research staff scientist at Bell Laboratories and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
He was fluent in Persian, English, Arabic, French, and German.
Chamran has been described as an example of noble life for his disregard of worldly matters and his sacrifices in the path of God.
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Chamran, motivated by the sufferings of people in Middle East abandoned his seemingly high profile life in Berkeley and became a leading and founding member of the Islamic revolutionary movement in the Middle East, organizing and training guerrillas and revolutionary forces in Algeria, Egypt, Syria, especially Amal Movement in southern Lebanon.
With the Islamic Revolution taking place in Iran, Chamran’s career took a sharp turn. He was appointed commander of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, as well as Iran’s Minister of Defense, personal military aide to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and his representative to the Supreme Council of Defense.
In March 1980, he was elected into the Majlis of Iran (the Iranian Parliament) as a representative from the city of Tehran.
He was martyred by an Iraqi mortar in combat in Khuzestan Province (a region in Southwestern Iran, bordering Iraq) on June 21, 1981.
Many buildings and streets in Iran and Lebanon, a university as well a major expressway in Tehran, are named after him.
Imam Khomeini, the Great, the founder of Islamic Republic lauded Chamran for his lifestyle, saying: “Let’s live as Chamran.”