On Tuesday, thousands of Iranians attended the funerals of 400 troops who died in the Iran-Iraq conflict in the 1980s.
While everything was going on, the president of Iran reacted angrily, accusing the US and its allies of inciting the pro-government demonstrations that had been going on for more than three months.
In large processions, caskets containing the remains of “unidentified martyrs” were carried while being covered in Iranian flags.
Many Iranian families are still waiting incessantly for word of loved ones who are still “missing,” which is a sad legacy of the conflict.
Similar ceremonies were held in January to bury the 250 Iranian troops who died in the battle between 1980 and 1988.
Large-scale demonstrations against Mahsa Amini’s death, a 22-year-old Iranian Kurdish woman who died after being held by the nation’s morality police, have rocked Iran since mid-September.
One of the most vital challenges to Iranian clerical leadership in more than 40 years, the protests quickly turned into calls for the destruction of the theocracy founded following the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
Human Rights Activists in Iran, a group closely following the turmoil, estimate that at least 507 protesters have been killed and more than 18,500 have been detained.
The number of people slain or imprisoned by Iranian officials has not been disclosed.
Tuesday’s final farewell in Tehran’s capital city paid tribute to 200 troops whose remains had just lately been found in abandoned war zones along the Iranian border with Iraq.
Funerals were held for an additional 200 soldiers in several Iranian towns and cities. All the troops have been unidentified, and mass funerals planned to bury their corpses as “unknown martyrs.”
The trucks carrying the coffins started going through the streets outside Tehran University. Black-clad men and women crowded around the coffins, many sobbing for the victims of the deadly, stalemated conflict that Saddam Hussein of Iraq and his Baath Party initiated in 1980.
Remains of troops found in borderland territory that saw intense fighting during the conflict, which claimed more than a million lives on both sides, are occasionally exchanged between Iran and Iraq.
According to Iranian state television, the soldiers whose bodies were interred on Tuesday were slain on four different battlefields, including two in Iraq.
Many participants brought pictures of Qassem Soleimani, a prominent Iranian general killed in a U.S. drone strike in Baghdad in January 2020, and the Iranian flag.
According to media sources, President Ebrahim Raisi and other prominent figures attended the ceremony and hailed “the martyrs,” saying they helped lift the nation’s spirit.
During the ceremony, Raisi claimed that attempts to “squeeze Iran during the recent protests” by the country’s enemies, i.e., the U.S. and its supporters, had failed.
According to Iranian authorities, the U.S. and Israel, among other foreign enemies, are responsible for the turmoil.
Despite the fact that “all pressures against the Islamic Republic were doomed to fail,” Raisi claimed that “recent riots displayed the hubris (of the U.S. and its supporters) in all its strength.”
The burials on Tuesday occur just days before the third anniversary of the downing of a Ukrainian passenger airliner by the Iranian military, which claimed the lives of all 176 aboard.
This tragedy sparked anger across Iran and further harmed Iran’s relations with the West.
Footage shows a huge crowd taking part in the funeral procession of 200 unidentified martyrs of Iraq’s war against Iran in the 1980s, in the capital Tehran. pic.twitter.com/sgDMyDQ8O5
— PressTV Extra (@PresstvExtra) December 27, 2022