“Trying for eight years, doing everything they can, and yet achieving nothing – is there a greater victory for Iran?” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a televised video address to top military commanders and war veterans across the country, delivered at the beginning of “Sacred Defense” week marking the war’s 40th anniversary.
The Leader said despite some attempts at casting doubt over Iran’s victory in the war, it should be known that the country’s triumph is “as bright as the sun” as neither did it lose a hand-span of its soil, nor did its leadership take a single step back.
“The Sacred Defense showed that aggression toward this country is very costly,” he added.
“When a nation shows it has the power and determination to defend itself... it causes the aggressor to think twice before attacking,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein invaded Iran a year and a half after Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, triggering the war that was eventually brought to an end through a UN-brokered cease-fire.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the conflict had made Iran’s revolution “much stronger” than it had been before.
The Leader said the defensive struggle equipped the Iranian nation with a sense of self-belief in its ability to fend for itself and put it on a course of technological and scientific development because it had to wade into many new areas to be able to buttress its defense capability.
The war taught us that “some things that appear to be impossible, are actually possible,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated.
He also slammed Western powers for having armed Saddam while depriving Iran of aid, saying it showed “the truth and the nature of Western civilization.”
The Leader recalled how Western countries would equip the aggressors with chemical weapons, thus going back on all of their human rights claims.
While specifying the actual goal of the warmongers as being the destruction of the country’s Islamic Revolution and its Islamic establishment, the Leader noted that Saddam and his Ba’ath Party were just being used as “tools by powers, such as the United States, that had suffered serious blows from Iran’s Revolution.”
Others, like the Soviet Union, the Western military alliance of NATO, as well as some other Western and even European countries also contributed to the war because they were “concerned” about the emergence of a new phenomenon in the region that had been founded upon religion, he said.
The Leader called on officials to preserve the memory of the war as “part of the national identity” of Iranians by creating works of literature on a global scale.
This year, Iran canceled a military parade held annually to mark the war’s anniversary due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 24,400 and infected over 425,000 in the country since March.
Ayatollah Khamenei urged Iranians to better observe health protocols such as social distancing and wearing masks, noting that the virus kills around 150 people every day in the country.
“Suppose a plane with 300 people on board crashes every two days and everyone dies. Is this a small thing?” he said.
AFP and Press TV contributed to this story.