In a recent statement to the 8th Congress on Martyred Students, Iran's Leader Ali Khamenei praised the culture of shahada (committing martyrdom operations), and called upon students to follow the path of martyrs.
Speaking at a memorial service at the University of Qom, a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards general, Shabani, called for the training and education of students as martyrs. In his address, which dealt with means of resisting the enemy, Shabani also said that Iran is the third largest power in the region in ballistic missile production.
The following are excerpts from the two statements:
Iran's Leader Calls for Shahada and Warns Against the Enemies of the Culture of Jihad
In a message to the 8th Congress on Martyred Students, Iran's Leader Ali Khamenei said:
"The enemies of Iran tried to humiliate and diminish the value of martyrdom [shahada] and the culture of Jihad in the eyes of the youth, particularly students… Shahada means the giving of one's greatest material asset for an ideal, the revival and fertilization of which are for the good of humanity. This is one of the most beautiful human values, and when this ideal is pleasing to Allah as well – and is the aspiration of all Allah's messengers – this value is the supreme human virtue, and cannot be measured by any material criterion. Acceptance of this [ideal] is the same wondrous element that gives those fighting Jihad for the path of truth the strength to overcome any scheme of the front of hostility."
Khamenei urged students to continue to promote the culture of Jihad and martyrdom among themselves as "a source of national strength and a characteristic of pure worship… When we encounter the name of a student who committed martyrdom we are confident that the acceptance of martyrdom and of the Jihad that led to this martyrdom stemmed from [the martyr's] self-awareness and clear desire, and this intensifies the value of the act. Sanctify and praise your exalted martyrs and place your trust in the help and support of Allah." 
Iranian Revolutionary Guards General: We Must Train Forces Ready to Commit Martyrdom; Iran Is the Third Largest Power in the Region in Ballistic Missile Production
The official Iranian news agency MEHR quoted a senior Revolutionary Guards officer, General Shabani, in charge of Iran's Security Forces Staff and Command College, who spoke at a memorial service for the martyrs from the University of Qom.
"General Shabani said: 'Iran is the third [largest] power in the region in the field of ballistic missile production, following China and Russia.'
"In celebration of the eighth anniversary in memory of the martyrs from the University of Qom, General Shabani praised the exalted status of the Islamic revolution's martyrs, saying: 'As the Imam [Ayatollah Khomeini] said, 'The martyrs are the quintessence of our strength.' Therefore, we must educate and train forces ready to commit martyrdom attacks in order to counter the enemy.
"'In the event of a war with the U.S. we must fight them asymmetrically. As of now, we have manufactured weapons systems and we have attained nuclear capabilities. What has caused the U.S. great concern is the fact that the Iranian young [generation] attained this technology by themselves.'
"General Shabani stressed the need to always be prepared for the enemy's moves, and said: 'Through its plans, the U.S. is trying to generate a change in the behavior of Iran's high-ranking officials, and it is aware that it will not succeed [in doing so] through a military offensive. If the enemy wants to put Iran in danger, we will leave [the enemy] with no security whatsoever.'
"The commander of Iran's Security Forces Staff and Command College noted that the U.S. had mobilized all its equipment and forces in the region in order to pressure Iran."