May 24, 2019 Special Dispatch No. 8085

Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei Presents Portrait Of IRGC Commander Who Downed U.S. Helicopter In Persian Gulf In 1987

May 24, 2019
Iran | Special Dispatch No. 8085

As Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei spoke to students on May 22, 2019, one of the students waved aloft a portrait of a martyr, and said that he wanted to give it as a gift to Khamenei even though it was customary for Khamenei to be the one giving gifts to others.

Khamenei ordered that the portrait be placed on a table next to him; it remained there until the conclusion of his meeting with the students.

The incident was likely coordinated in advance, since it is not reasonable that anyone would be allowed to approach Khamenei in public unexpectedly.

The Fars news agency, which is affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), identified the martyr as Nader Mahdavi Basria, commander of the Zolfaghar Naval Squadron of the IRGC navy. On October 8, 1987, Mahdavi was involved in the downing of an American helicopter during a battle with the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf. "Mahdavi is known in Iran as a symbol of the martyrs killed in the resistance to the Great Satan [i.e. the U.S.]," Fars stated.[1]

Below are photos of the incident, from the Fars report and from Khamenei's website:

Source: Fars, May 22, 2019.

Source:, May 22, 2019.


[1] Fars (Iran), May 22, 2019.

Share this Report: