Head of Iran’s Foundation of Martyrs Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh. FILE PHTO

Head of Iran’s Foundation of Martyrs Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh

Iran Plans Union of 'Martyrs’ Foundations' With Iraq, Lebanese Allies


Despite recent criticism over a deal between Iran and Iraq martyrs’ foundations, Tehran plans for a regional union of similar entities in Iraq and Lebanon.

In his speech before the sermons at Tehran Friday prayers, the head of Iran’s Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs, Amir-Hossein Ghazizadeh Hashemi, said he wanted to establish the “Union of Martyrs’ Foundations of the Resistance Axis.”

This would include Iranians and Iraqis killed in the 1980-88 war, as well as those killed in the ‘resistance axis’ of Iran-backed militias, including Palestinian and Iraqi groups, and Hezbollah in Lebanon. Estimates of deaths in the 1980-88 war have ranged from 500,000 to 1 million.

Ghazizadeh said that “so far Lebanon and Iraq have announced their readiness.” He praised the “the axis of resistance” as “a symbol of self-sacrifice” and called on Iranians to “stand with our dear brothers…committed to the culture of the revolution around the world.”

The Iraqi martyr’s foundation is run by the government, while in Lebanon the Martyrs Foundation is a Hezbollah support network sanctioned by the United States. There is also a Palestinian martyrs foundation in Lebanon.

Earlier in March, Ghazizadeh signed a deal to provide a wide range of services to Iraqi veterans, including those from the Iraq-Iran war, drawing criticism and calls for his resignation from Iranians and veterans who say Iran can barely provide the needed services for its own veterans and their families

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