IranMiddle East

Leader agrees to attribute title of martyr to young Iranian hero

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has agreed to grant the title of "martyr" to Ali Landi, an Iranian teenage boy who died of severe burns after having rescued two women neighbors trapped in a fire.

The title was granted upon a request by head of Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi who was receiving a flood of calls by Iranians on social media and other platforms in recent days to attribute the martyrdom status to the young Iranian for his heroic feat.

Ali, a 15-year-old schoolboy, died of his injuries on Friday, two weeks after he helped the women escape their burning home and tried to throw a gas cylinder out of the window to stop the fire spreading.

The two neighbors, a woman in her eighties and her daughter, reportedly suffered superficial burns in the September 9 blaze.

The teenager died of “90 percent burns”, said Imam Musa Kazim Hospital in the city of Isfahan, where he was transferred from his hometown of Izeh in Khuzestan Province.

On Saturday, the office of Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei contacted his family to offer condolences. 

President Ebrahim Raeisi said Ali’s “story of self-sacrifice must be narrated through art and literature to inspire future generations.”

Several Iranian officials, including interior and intelligence ministers Ahmad Vahidi and Esmail Khatib, also extended condolences and hailed the teenager’s bravery. 

Iranians paid their tribute to the teen’s courage online, as many people took to social media and posted about him, with many even urging the ministry of education to include his courageous story in textbooks. 

A photo of the smiling kid splashed on the front page of many Iranian newspapers on Saturday, while a video trending on social media showed a coffin being carried from the Isfahan hospital in front of an honor guard and a military band ahead of Landi’s burial in his hometown.

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