In statements on February 26, 2015, both Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and Ali Shirazi, his representative in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) elite Qods Force, stressed the need to instill the values of jihad and martyrdom in Iranian society, and reiterated the ideological principles of the Islamic Revolution - enmity towards the U.S. and opposition to American hegemony and the existing world order.
At a closed meeting, Khamenei urged daily dissemination of the culture of martyrdom and jihad in society, and enshrining it as an eternal truth and as a necessary sacrifice on the path towards long-term goals. He explained that this would inoculate Iranian society against defeat, rendering its enemies unable to halt its progress. He also stressed Iran's role as the standard bearer of opposition to the existing world order, and as a country that could stand fast against the U.S. despite the latter's technological advantages, thanks to its revolution that relies on God's support.
Ali Shirazi, speaking at a ceremony attended by families of martyrs, emphasized that Iran would persist in fighting the U.S. until it had "rais[ed] the banner of Islam over the White House." He too praised the culture of martyrdom as a supreme value, and noted that it had spread to many countries in the Islamic world, including Nigeria, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, and Yemen. This, he said, showed that the Islamic Revolution had penetrated deep into these countries and had become a model for emulation across the region. Shirazi added that Iran was determined to avenge the January 18, 2015 killing in Quneitra of IRGC Gen. Mohammed 'Ali Allahdadi and the Hizbullah commanders, and that Hizbullah's operation against Israel in late January 2015 was only the beginning of this vengeance.
Below are the main points of both speeches:
Khamenei: We Must Instill Every Day The Culture Of Martyrdom And Jihad In Iranian Society
In his February 26, 2015 statements, Khamenei said: "It is necessary to praise the martyrs and to keep them from being forgotten, and to keep the ethical values [embodied by] their memory from becoming obsolete. Gatherings that honor the martyrs are in effect a continuation of the movement of jihad and martyrdom. Every day in Iranian society, we must disseminate the martyrs' memory, and the milestones of their lives. If the memory of the martyrs and the value of martyrdom are presented in society as eternal truth, defeat loses its meaning, and this nation will move fearlessly along the path of progress.
"The Iranian nation's great mission is to reject the erroneous division of the world into rulers and ruled. Although the rulers are currently able to tighten their grip on the oppressed because of their many resources, an [opposing] identity called the Islamic Revolution, which anchored in divine and moral foundations, has proudly arisen and is bravely standing fast against the power[-seeking] order.
"The Islamic Revolution is steadily moving upwards, and the enemies cannot halt its progress. During the Iran-Iraq War, some believed that sending students to the front line would empty the universities and damage the country's scientific progress. But it turned out that the blessings of martyrdom and jihad on the divine path are so plentiful that these efforts made science in [our] country a source of pride today - and it is [even] more advanced than other areas.
"It is vital to keep the martyrs' names and the culture of martyrdom alive. This is one of the country's basic needs. The culture of martyrdom is a culture of self-sacrifice for the sake of long-term goals - goals shared by the entire nation and by all mankind. This culture is precisely the opposite of Western individualist culture, that measures everything according to individual and material considerations. If the culture of sacrifice and martyrdom spreads through a society, that society will progress and will never stop or retreat."
Khamenei's Representative In Qods Force: 'We Will Not Rest Until We Raise The Banner Of Islam Over The White House'
Addressing a February 26, 2015 ceremony attended by families of Iranian martyrs who fell on the Syrian front, Ali Shirazi, Khamenei's representative in the IRGC's Qods Force, said: "The most sublime [source of] pride for the martyrs and their families is that on Judgment Day they will stand before the Prophet, raise their heads in pride, and say: 'True, we did not live in your era... but today, at a time when the enemies wanted to attack Islam and Ahl Al-Bayt [the Shi'ite Muslim community], and fought our faith and our religion, our sons stood bare-chested against the enemies' bullets, fought valiantly, and did not allow them to push back the boundary of Ahl Al-Bayt.' This is the greatest badge of honor for you, the martyrs' families.
"When we look at the Islamic world, we see that the culture of the Islamic Revolution has reached all countries and all Muslims throughout the world. This is why love of martyrdom is spreading. This has come about thanks to the blood of your [sons,] the martyrs.
"Today, in every country we look at worldwide, we see that the love of martyrdom is spreading like wildfire every day. For example, Nigeria, which once had seven million Shi'ites, now has 20 million Shi'ites. The Jerusalem Day marches in the Nigerian cities were attended by six million people, [including] the leader of the Shi'ite [community] in Nigeria, who participated in the march with his entire family; [during this march,] three of his children were killed before his eyes and had become martyrs...
"The exact same thing is happening in Syria and Lebanon. Recently, six Hizbullah commanders were attacked by the Zionist enemy on Syrian soil - the son of 'Imad Mughniyah, and the Iranian general Allahdadi were among them. Mughniyah's family gave its fourth martyr. Jihad Mughniyah's brother brought the news of his death to his mother... She said 'go bring my bag.'... She opened it, took out some shrouds and said: 'I didn't send Jihad [to the front] so that he would return safely, I sent him so he would return as a martyr. I prepared shrouds for him.' I saw the same spirit in you too, families of martyrs. [I saw] your spirit of valor and self-sacrifice in Syria in defense of the places sacred to Ahl Al-Bayt. [I saw you], with all your love, praying and weeping for [the sake of] martyrdomÔÇª
"The world is trying to strip the Iranian nation and the Islamic nations of their values and religion. But what has it done? Has it attained this objective? The blood of your martyrs has changed the world today, and bolstered the motivation of those seeking martyrdom in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Lebanon and Yemen. The love of martyrdom, the love of defending values, the love for dying for the sake of Islam and the Koran are evident worldwide today. The enemies who did not want the Islamic Republic of Iran today see its might and [see it] growing into a model for Islamic countries.
"The enemy wanted to sow conflict between the Shi'a and the Sunna, but today in the Shi'ite and Sunni cities [of Iraq], and in Iraqi Kurdistan, the people say: Without the support of the Islamic Republic [of Iran], our honor would have fallen into the hands of ISIS. We also heard the same statements, again and again, from the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. The enemy wanted to separate these people from Iran, and this shows that your martyrs still live. Today, any plan that the enemy schemes is defeated, to the extent that they concede and confess: 'We are powerless before the Islamic nation.' The enemies of Islam must realize that this is [just] the beginning of the road, and that the Islamic nation of the resistance axis will take vengeance on the terrorists and the global arrogance for the killing of every single one of these martyrs.
"Recently, they [the Americans] sent arms to ISIS in Iraq at night [but] they should not think that this was not noticed by the Islamic nation. The Islamic nation is aware of [your] baseness and hostility, and it has no intention of letting you do as you please. The Islamic nation will not leave the oppressive Zionist regime alone until it avenges the blood of its martyrs.
"The Islamic Republic of Iran does not mouth slogans; it takes action. The Islamic Republic announced, 'We will avenge [the killing] of the martyr Allahdadi.' Hizbullah announced, 'We will avenge the killing of our six martyred commanders.' It did not take long. Tomorrow marks the 40th day since their death, but after [only] 20 days they [Hizbullah] struck two Israeli ships, destroyed nine Israeli vehicles, and killed 17 Israeli soldiers [sic]. I said, 'Do not think that we did this to avenge the death of Allahdadi and the six martyrs, because this is only the beginning of the road and we will make the Zionist regime lose sleep.'
"We will stand fast against the world of arrogance. We will not rest until we have raised the banner of Islam over the White House. The Islamic nation is determined to enter the arena with all its force, backed by God's will and his grace, and to stand fast against the world of arrogance. They will not suppress us with sanctions and threats. You did not succeed in harming the regime on the day it emerged, and now that the regime is 36 years old, you, the enemies of Islam, must expect and realize that every day [you] will be beaten, across the world."