In recent speeches, Iranian political leader Ali Khamenei and Revolutionary Guards Gen. Shabani praised the culture of martyrdom and jihad and urged students to become martyrs themselves in order to resist enemies, particularly the United States.

The statements were translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute, or MEMRI.

Speaking to the 8th Congress on Martyred Students, Khamenei said Iran’s enemies have tried to humiliate and diminish the value of martyrdom and the culture of jihad in the eyes of the youth, particularly students.”

He explained that martyrdom, or “shahada,” mean “the giving of one’s greatest material asset for an ideal, the revival and fertilization of which are for the good of humanity.”

“This is one of the most beautiful human values, and when this ideal is pleasing to Allah as well – and is the aspiration of all Allah’s messengers – this value is the supreme human virtue, and cannot be measured by any material criterion,” he said.

Khamenei urged students to continue to promote the culture of jihad and martyrdom among themselves as “a source of national strength and a characteristic of pure worship.

“When we encounter the name of a student who committed martyrdom we are confident that the acceptance of martyrdom and of the jihad that led to this martyrdom stemmed from [the martyr’s] self-awareness and clear desire, and this intensifies the value of the act,” Khamanei said. “Sanctify and praise your exalted martyrs and place your trust in the help and support of Allah.”

Meanwhile, Shabani, who is in charge of Iran’s Security Forces Staff and Command College, spoke at a memorial service for “the martyrs from the University of Qom.”

He said Iran is “the third [largest] power in the region in the field of ballistic missile production, following China and Russia.”

Shabani said Iran “must educate and train forces ready to commit martyrdom attacks in order to counter the enemy.”

“In the event of a war with the U.S. we must fight them asymmetrically,” he said. “As of now, we have manufactured weapons systems and we have attained nuclear capabilities. What has caused the U.S. great concern is the fact that the Iranian young [generation] attained this technology by themselves.”

Shabani stressed the need to be prepared always for the enemy’s moves.

“Through its plans, the U.S. is trying to generate a change in the behavior of Iran’s high-ranking officials, and it is aware that it will not succeed [in doing so] through a military offensive,” he said. “If the enemy wants to put Iran in danger, we will leave [the enemy] with no security whatsoever.”

Shabani said the U.S. has mobilized all its equipment and forces in the region in order to pressure Iran.

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