Dezful Resistance Day in Iran Date in the current year: May 25, 2024

Dezful Resistance Day in Iran Dezful Resistance Day, also known as Dezful National Day, is an Iranian military observance established to commemorate the resistance of the city of Dezful during the Iran–Iraq War of 1980–1988. It is observed annually on May 25 (the 4th of Khordad in the Solar Hijri calendar).

Dezful is a city in Khuzestan Province of Iran. During the Iran–Iraq War, also known as the First Gulf War, the frontier territories of Iran — Khuzestan and Iranian Kurdistan — suffered the most, since most of the hostilities occurred there. The greatest damage was inflicted on the cities of Khorramshahr, Dezful, Abadan, Ahvaz and Halabja.

During the war, Dezful was often referred to as the “city of missiles” because Iraqi forces repeatedly attacked it with bombs, missiles, and artillery shells. It withstood approximately 200 missile attacks, almost 500 bombings and over 20,000 artillery shellings, which resulted in 2,500 civilians getting killed and 5,000 civilians being injured or going missing, as well as the destruction of 19,500 residential, administrative, and educational buildings.

One of the major battles of the First Gulf War involving Dezful was Operation Nasr, also known as the Battle of Dezful. The biggest tank battle of the war, it was fought on January 5–9, 1991. The Iranians launched a large-scale offensive to liberate their territories between Ahvaz, Susangerd and Dezful that had been invaded by the Iraqi forces several months before that.

The offensive was ordered by President Abolhassan Banisadr and launched from Dezful in the direction of Susangerd. Three Iranian armored brigades managed to break through Iraqi lines. However, their flanks were left unprotected and they had no infantry support, which resulted in the Iranian troops getting cut off by Iraqi tanks.

In the ensuing Battle of Dezful, over 200 Iranian tanks were destroyed or abandoned due to being stuck in the mud of the marshes, and between 141 and 300 Iranians were killed (according to Iranian claims). The failure of the offensive was one of the factors that led to the impeachment of Abolhassan Banisadr a month later.

Dezful Resistance Day, however, commemorates another episode of the Iran–Iraq War. On May 25, 1986, Dezful was bombed by Saddam Hussein’s forces. It was the heaviest bombing of Dezful throughout the entire war, which resulted in heavy casualties and damage.

Dezful Resistance Day is celebrated annually to honor the resilience of the city’s residents who did not miss Friday prayers despite almost daily attacks. Along with the introduction of Dezful Resistance Day, the city of Dezful received two official titles for its resistance during the Iran–Iraq War: the Capital of Iranian Resistance and Exemplary City.

The resistance of Dezful was also commemorated by the development of a new a medium range ballistic missile that was named in the city’s honor. The Dezful missile was unveiled in February 2019. It is a longer range version of the Zolfaghar missile with a range of 620 miles (1,000 kilometers).

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Dezful Resistance Day in Iran, observances in Iran, holiday in Iran, Iran–Iraq War, Battle of Dezful, Operation Nasr