International forum for mass grave victim identification The Royal College of Pathologists

  • Pedram Khosronejad (Speaker)

Activity: Talk or presentation typesPresentation


Identification of Martyrs of Iran-Iraq war (1980-88): Scientific Knowledge or Religious Devotion

"The Iran-Iraq War (1980-88), referred to by Iranians as “the Sacred Defense and Imposed War” (Defa‛e Moqadas va Jang-e Tahmili), began with Iraq’s September 22, 1980, attack on Iran, and ended eight years later, on August 20, 1988, leaving at least 300,000 dead and more than 500,000 injured out of a total population that, by the war’s end, numbered approximately 60 million. Today, Iranian military institutions claim that more than 50,000 bodies of Iranian volunteer soldiers (razmandeh) remain in the former battlefields of Iran and Iraq. Yet despite 2,920 days of war, this devastating human disaster has been ignored by the West.

The bodies of soldiers left behind or buried on the fronts remained untouched until 1989, one year after the official end of the war, when the former head of the Cooperation Section of the Army of the Guardians of the Islamic Revolution, Colonel S. M. Mirbagherzadeh, proposed a project to the Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khameneyi, in regards to finding the bodies of the Iranian martyrs who were left behind on the former warfronts of both countries. Based on his proposal, the Committee for Finding the Missing Soldiers was created in the Assembly of the Armed Forces.
At the beginning of their work, members of CFMS who were originally officers of AGIR and veterans of the Iran-Iraq War had a great amount of work to do in collecting the rest of the bodies and remains that they could find on the earth’s surface. In their first attempts, during 1990–91, initial surveys were made of the former warfronts of the northwest, near Panjveyn, where the Fourth Valfajr operation (Dawn 4) took place. In this exploration alone they found the bodies of 300 martyrs. In March 1992, for the first time in its history, Iran held a public funeral ceremony for these 300 unknown martyrs (javid ol-asar) in Tehran.
In this paper I will present for the first time the methodology and technics of CFMS brigade for finding the dead bodies and remains of fallen soldiers in Iran.
Period13 Mar 2013
Event titleInternational forum for mass grave victim identification The Royal College of Pathologists
Event typeConference
Location London, United KingdomShow on map