Ayatollah Khamenei made the remarks in a speech he delivered during a Wednesday meeting with a group of Iranian war veterans, who defended the homeland against ex-Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s war on Iran in the 1980s, on the occasion of the Sacred Defense Week.
“The Sacred Defense proved this fact that protecting the country and [achieving] deterrence can be achieved through resistance, not surrender,” he said.
He said resistance raised the morale and self-confidence of the people and, at the same time, taught the enemy to reconsider its calculations and include the Iranian nation’s power and resistance.
“The military invasion against the country after the [Islamic] Revolution was not unexpected. It is true that Saddam launched the attack, but behind Saddam was global arrogance,” he said.
“The Sacred Defense is an exciting, eventful and fruitful juncture. The era of Sacred Defense is one of the events that have an effect on our yesterday, today and tomorrow,” he said. “Therefore, the veterans [of the war] should be given attention and respect.”
Iraq waged a war against Iran more than one and a half years after the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which toppled the US-backed Pahlavi regime.
During the war, which became the longest armed conflict of the 20th century, Iraq was fully supported by the US and its allies, while the same countries denied Iran access to foreign arms.
According to the Leader, the Iranian nation had a new message for the world during the era of the Islamic Revolution and the imperialist countries did not want anyone to hear that message.
“They wanted to smother the voice of the Iranian nation in the throat,” he said. “They wanted teach other nations that if anyone rises against America, they would be suppressed like the Iranian nation, and the ultimate and fundamental goal was to close the door to resistance.”
But, the Leader continued, the Iranian nation responded by neutralizing all those goals and make the exact opposite happen.
Ayatollah Khamenei said the enemies were angry because of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, which he said was not in line with the policies of Western and Eastern powers.
He recalled that all countries in that era were either pro-West or pro-East and no independent nation existed at the time.
“It was not at all tolerable for a country outside of this [bipolar] system to come and speak its mind. It was unbearable for them that a nation is not afraid of America,” he said.
The Leader also noted that the revolution brought about events in the world that “perhaps we were not aware of all of its dimensions at that time, but they knew what had happened.”