Ayatollah Khamenei visits
the Family Of martyr Vahik Yasaian
Visit Date: 28/12/1989
The Photo of Mr. Hamlet Toumanian.
Mr. Toumanian took upon himself to write down the narration of this visit. We are most grateful to him.
The Photo of
martyr Vahik Yasaian
Martyred in Sarpol-Zahab, Kermanshah
Martyred on 24/6/1988
The narration of what went on in the beautiful, intimate and loving meeting in this house between a great man and the dear family of martyr Yasaian is itself the tell-tale of the fact that selfless sacrifices and passionate patriotism surpasses all cults and religions.
Martyrs were in love with their patriotic country and they were chosen to become sources of pride and glory so that God will be happy with His own creations; and for a divine leader to meet the parents of such great martyrs.
Here I should address our martyr, Vahik and say: Everyone respects and reveres your parents and your family because of you; it is true that they miss you badly but they also take pride in you. After all, death is inevitable for all people, so praise and glory to those, like you, who passed away in honour and pride. Long live Iran that produced such great, selfless youth. In memory of all martyrs, here I narrate the meeting of the Iranian Leader with the family of our martyr and champion, Vahik Yasaian:
Vahik, a Zealous, responsible gentleman, was an enemy of all oppressors and a friend and helper of the weak people. As a patriotic person, he went to war-fronts to defend his country and stayed there steadfastly until God recalled him. He was at the fronts for some 27 months; only one month was left to finish his military service.
As he was at the war-fronts all the time, he was allowed to come back to Tehran. But he was drunk with the love of God and love of his country. Otherwise, when his comrades had to retreat, he didn’t go back because he still had four rockets to fire at the enemy; he performed his last duty and died through the enemy’s fire. He gave up his young life for God and for his country. That’s why his family always remember him with pride and honour. He was also deeply spiritual.
Before the Leader’s arrival, his companions had brought us a big bunch of flowers and the scent of the flowers was a herald of the Leader’s perfumed presence. He arrived and his saying salaam and enquiring after our health was most intimate and fatherly but his eyes told a different story: he was full of praise for the family who had brought up such a chivalrous son as Vahik and the same happy impression could be observed in the faces of the whole family who had the Iranian Leader, the great guide to Muslims in many countries, as their guest. There were quite a few of us present and the Leader said humourously: What a large family!
The martyr’s father said: One of them is my son and others are relatives and friends.
ـ Well, how are you yourself?
ـ Fine, thank you, sir.
ـ How about you, lady?
I pray for your health, thank you, you’re so kind to come to us, said the mother.
It’s a great evening and it is also Christmas Eve. Our family members present at this unforgettable, pleasant meeting include the martyr’s parents, his brother, his sister and one of his cousins. Mr. Khamenei’s presence in our house on Christmas Eve, reward us all for Jesus Christ who taught his followers to fight tyranny and oppression; he taught them resolute resistance at the cost of his own holy life.
The Leader then asks us how Vahik was martyred.
The father informs him that it happened at Sarpol-Zahabe and that his comrade who had run out of bullets, had to retreat, but he told them: I still have 4 Sahand rockets; I must bring down those invading warplanes!
The Leader says: Operating those rockets needed a high degree of technical knowledge; launching Sahand rockets was not easy.
The father says: I’m proud of him; he was martyred when he was only 22 in the year 1988.
The Leader then prays for the martyr family and asks the father: Are these young men your children?
The father points at them and says: these two are my sons, those two are my daughters and this boy is my nephew.
May God Almighty grant proper rewards to you, says the Leader. He adds: May God protect all your children and make them sources of satisfaction and happiness for you and I hope that this year’s Christmas brings you God’s blessings.
We all thank the Leader for his warm prayers. The meeting is so friendly and intimate; that’s why it goes on for almost an hour, as the Leader’s visits of martyrs’ families are usually shorter than this.
The Leader then says: I hope this Christmas to be most blissful for you, but I think the Armenian Christmas has not arrived yet?
ـ Yes, you’re right; our Christmas Eve is on the 6th of January.
ـ Where is your church? Is one near?
ـ it’s on Karim-Khan Street?
ـ Yes, it’s near.
ـ Do you go to church often?
ـ Yes, sir, we often go there?
ـ How about the younger ones? Do they also attend?
ـ Yes, they do.
One of the martyr’s brothers says: I go whenever I can, but often I’m at work.
At this juncture, the Leader talks about the technical knowledge of Armenians specially in repairing military vehicles and that many of them did voluntarily join the war efforts. These brave, selfless Armenians proved that defending Iranian dignity and independence is a holy duty for all, whether Muslim or Christian; how sweet it is to hear the families of martyrs talk about the important role they played in defence of their patriotic country. Mr. Khamenei then asks the martyr’s brother: What’s your occupation?
I have an automobile repair shop for fixing brakes, he replies.
The Leader adds: I used to go to Ahvaz in the first year of the war and I saw many Armenians engaged in such technical efforts and once, when I was there, a young Armenian came to me.
He said: Many of us are ready to come and help repair our military vehicles, yes, they are good at that.
Father says: They are also hard-working people.
The Leader adds: Not only that, they are really good, skillful technicians.
Father says: Also some 50 craftsmen and technicians were sent to the war-fronts by Mr. Vartan of our Church Kalifate Council.
Yes, I know, says the Leader, I have witnessed this myself as I said earlier, I commissioned someone to arrange for these volunteers to carry on with their skilled jobs; many of them were also martyred during the war.
The parents emphasized what a faithful person their son was and that he always carried a small copy of the Gospel in his pocket.
The Leader says: I know this because your Parliamentary representative once showed me the copy an Armenian fighter carried with him, it was bullet-ridden but this person survived; surly your son too must have been a very faithful person.
This pleasant meeting continued and the Leader was keen to know about jobs and the education of the family; of course everyone spoke about Vahik also and it seemed to me that Vahik was sitting in the room listening to what the Leader and others said about him; this could be true because we believe that martyrs are alive; I am certain that Vahik is proud of his family, his Leader and his country.
Mr. Khamenei also asked the martyr’s brother: Well, young man, what do you do?
ـ I help my father with his work.
ـ Don’t you study in some field?
The father says: I told him to continue his studies and go to university but he said he wanted to work.
Well, doing a good technical job is also important. Then Mr. Khamenei asks the martyr’s sister: How about you, lady?
I go to high-school, it’s my second year, she says.
ـ How about your elder sister?
Father answers this question and says: She’s studying at the Pharmaceutical University in Isfahan.
I wish her success, says the Leader.
Father adds: Apart from that she studies divinities at one of the old churches of Isfahan. My martyred son was also like her, a very faithful person; he was studying at university level but he chose to join the military and defend his country.
The Leader then comments: If a nation does not have such selfless, brave young men, this nation will gradually become weak, it’s like a family faced with enemies but lacking strong men to defend it. Today all dependent countries suffer from this weakness and humiliation. We, for some 10 years, have been facing many problems and obstacles in production and trade; for ten years such difficulties have been imposed on us and before the Revolution, as you know, the circumstances were worse. Despite all these, we are a proud nation; we are not to be humiliated. No government under the sky today could claim to have any influence in Iran. We are not under the influence of any big power in the world; this means integrity and personality and honour. Apart from those few big powers, most countries are under the influence of others for various reasons, economic, financial or military threats or ideological dogmas.
Then the Leader prays for the martyr’s mother saying: May God Almighty bring happiness in your life and bless you all and may He keep your children in good health for you.
We all thank the Leader for his wise comments and he goes on to say: Dear lady, death comes to all, no one may escape it. Young people also die because of an accident or some illness; these are inglorious deaths but your son’s martyrdom is to be praised and glorified.
The father affirms what the Leader said: Yes, it was a prideful martyrdom, I’m proud that he went that way, just as he wished, his short life before joining the military and afterwards was a full, glorious life. And, Haaj-Agha, this is my youngest daughter.
ـ May God protect her, what school-class is she in?
ـ I’m in the 5th year of primary school.
The intimate atmosphere of this visit has cheered up the martyr’s sister and mother; they are now more proud of him than before.
They remember many things about the character and personality of Vahik but they don’t know which of his memories to tell the Leader.
Varuzh, the martyr’s brother says:
ـ The very last time he came here on leave, he told me that he doesn’t come back, that I should take more care of our parents as if he knew that he would not come back; my mother had also sensed this.
Vahik’s sister tells the Leader how chivalrous he was:
ـ You know, every 45 days, he could come here on leave, but he would give his leave-paper to others and when my mother complained about this, he said that the mother of his comrade was more worried. And, as you know, he did not retreat and was martyred.
The Leader says: yes, such selfless behavior makes these martyrs more praiseworthy and outstanding; such young men were exceptional, they were like brilliant torches in a dark world. He joined the military voluntarily and possessed high human morals, he was great.
The mother said: He always wore his cross on his neck and often pointed at it saying ‘this will protect me’ and that ‘when there was an attack, I’m not sent to the front-lines’; he always tried to console me. He had also told his brother ‘don’t let mother know that I fight in the front-lines’.
The Leader then says to the mother:
ـ You must be strong and feel proud, truly, bringing up such courageous, kind and strong sons, is a great source of honour.
Mother says: Yes, I take pride in him who went away with dignity, homour and glory; wherever I go people respect me a lot.
Mr. Khamenei adds:
ـ well, your spiritual respect is much higher than the respect people pay to you. There are certain matters one must deliberate about, things that can’t be expressed by tongues. Your son was like a founding- stone in a building which is not removable; the result of his selfless effort for the society, for this country and its people will remain forever, I mean that these martyrs and their heroic actions will be eternal.
Mr. Khamenei further explains:
ـ If you take a glimpse at the history of those countries which are considered as great nations today, you’ll find out that this has come about through countless, continuous sacrifices and resistance. On the other hand, colonialist powers invaded the continent of Africa and, as there was not much resistance and people were not ready to fight and sacrifice for their lands, the colonialists plundered their wealth, shaved their heads and took them away into slavery. The result was that for some two centuries, the African people remained backward and suffered hunger and poverty. Some people think that Africa is a dry land and as hot as hell. This is not true; many regions in Africa are among the most beautiful, arable and green regions of the world. Colonialist powers also dropped hundreds of bombs on the African people to keep them in subjugation. On the contrary, our people proved how selfless, patriotic and resistant they were because our Islamic Revolution revived the people, and brought back their zeal, patriotism and honour. The Iranian nation, thanks to such youth as your son, was victorious; if it weren’t for them, we would have become a humiliated, defeated nation.
The Leader finally said: I wish you all success and happiness. Then he addressed mother and gave her a precious gift and said: this is a little token of our meeting this evening.
Mother said: Thank you for your visit, you did us a favour.
It was hard for us to say good-bye to the Leader, but after he left, we all felt some spiritual tranquility resulting from his presence and his wise words. And we should never forget the sacrifices of the martyrs whose red blood kept our land green.