After the people of Dezful, who had no shelter or defense, were targeted by the long-range weaponry of the mercenary Iraqi troops – I happened to be in Dezful that night – I went into the city in the morning and walked in the streets. We had spent the night in an Air Force base, which was outside the city. I thought I should go and see how the people’s spirits were after that catastrophic incident that had taken place in the city in which perhaps more than a hundred innocent men, women and children were killed in the middle of the night.
In the city, there were signs of life filled with faith, determination and decisiveness. One was astonished to see the greatness and courage of these people – women, men, young and old. The mercenary Iraqi regime had resorted to this nefarious, vile conspiracy targeting the people of the city with long-range missiles in order to evacuate the people and the revolutionary forces from Dezful… But the people were acting as though nothing had happened in their city last night.
Of course, ardent young people chanted, “Give us weapons so that we can go and take revenge.” I spoke to the people that afternoon after the night of the incident. Thousands of people had gathered in the Grand Mosque of Dezful with enthusiasm and excitement. I expressed my gratitude and appreciation for the courage of these devoted people, as a person who likes courage, faith, and devoted people. And now, from this great position of the Friday Prayer, from behind this lectern with an audience of millions, and from among you brothers and sisters who have gathered to pray, I send my greetings to all the people of Dezful – men and women, old and young. They are brave people, believers, and trust in God.
Imam Khamenei, Friday Prayer Sermon in Tehran, [Oct. 31, 1980]