The mourning ceremonies, which were held in several cities on Thursday, coincided with the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Fatima Zahra (SA), the daughter of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him).
Out of the 250 martyrs, whose remains have been newly recoverd, 150 will be laid to rest in Tehran Province and the remaining in 24 other Iranian provinces.
Supported by major Western and regional states, former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein launched a military invasion of Iran in 1980, less than two years after the Islamic Revolution.
With the army mostly in disarray, Iranians closed ranks under the leadership of the late founder of the Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini as they rushed to the warfronts to push back Iraqi forces and liberate occupied territories.
The war ended in 1988 with a ceasefire deal, with the Iraqi dictator failing to achieve any of his goals and Iran not conceding an inch of its territory.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians lost their lives or went missing during the war.
Over the years, the Islamic Republic has carried out numerous search operations to recover the remains of its fallen soldiers.
‘Anonymous on earth but well known in heavens’
In a message, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei paid tribute to the martyrs and said the coincidence of the funerals with the martyrdom anniversary of Hazrat Fatima (SA) “brings the good news that their memory will last forever.”
“Peace be upon the unknown martyrs; those unknown among the earth’s inhabitants but well-known in the heavens,” the Leader said.
“I send my greetings to the pure souls of these martyrs and to the waiting eyes and hearts of their fathers, mothers and wives, and I pray for the God’s ever-increasing grace and mercy for all of them,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.
Speaking at the event in Tehran, Iran’s Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf praised the braveries of the martyrs during the 1980-1988 war imposed on Iran, which is known as “the Sacred Defense.”
“We must know that our dear and precious martyrs … entered the field and sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islam, the [Islamic] Revolution and our beloved Iran.”
Referring to Iranian officials, Qalibaf said, “It is today upon us to serve this dear nation. We are duty-bound to make efforts to continue down the path opened by the martyrs, General Qassem Soleimani and Imam Khomeini with faith in the God and the people.”