Battle of Khorramshahr (1982)

  (Redirected from Liberation of Khorramshahr)

The battle of Khorramshahr, also known in Iran as the liberation of Khorramshahr (Persian: آزادسازی خرمشهر, romanizedÂzâdsâzī-ye Khorramshahr) was the Iranian recapture of the city of Khorramshahr on 24 May 1982, during the Iran–Iraq War. The city had been captured by the Iraqis earlier in the war, on 26 October 1980, shortly after the Iraqi invasion of Iran.[1][2] The successful retaking of the city was part of Iran's Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas. It is perceived as a turning point in the war; and the liberation of the city is annually celebrated in Iran on 24 May.[3]

Liberation of Khorramshahr
Part of the Iran–Iraq War
Khorramshahr POWs crop.jpg
Iranian forces directing captured Iraqi Army prisoners following the city's return to Iranian control, 1982
Date24 April – 24 May 1982
(1 month)
Location30°26′02″N 48°10′41″E / 30.434°N 48.178°E / 30.434; 48.178Coordinates: 30°26′02″N 48°10′41″E / 30.434°N 48.178°E / 30.434; 48.178
Result Iranian victory
Iran retakes the southwestern port city of Khorramshahr and pushes Iraqi forces back to the international border
Commanders and leaders
70,000 70,000
Casualties and losses
  • 15,000 killed and/or wounded
  • 15,000–19,000 captured
  • 550 tanks and armoured vehicles destroyed
  • 105 tanks and armoured vehicles captured
30,000 killed and/or wounded
Khorramshahr is located in Iran
Location of Khorramshahr within Iran


Following its capture, the Iranian city of Khorramshahr remained under Iraqi control until April 1982, when the Iranians launched Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas to recapture the province of Khuzestan. The initial phase of the operation took place from 24 April to 12 May 1982 and consisted of approximately 70,000 Iranian Army troops and Revolutionary Guards, who succeeded in pushing the Iraqi forces out of the AhvazSusangerd area while sustaining heavy casualties. The Iraqis withdrew to Khorramshahr and, on 20 May, launched a vigorous but unsuccessful counterattack against the Iranians. Iran then launched an all-out assault on Khorramshahr and overran two Iraqi defensive lines in the Pol-e Now and Shalamcheh region. The Iranians concentrated near the Shatt al-Arab (known as the Arvand Rud in Iran) waterway, besieged Khorramshahr, and recaptured the city on 24 May 1982, after two days of intense and bloody fighting.[3][4]

Aftermath and legacyEdit

2000 rial banknote of Iran, depicting Iranian forces after the liberation of Khorramshahr.

In retaking Khorramshahr, the Iranians captured approximately 19,000 soldiers from a now-demoralized Iraqi Army. Saddam Hussein was shocked and infuriated by the defeat and by the fact that the Iranians had pushed on despite sustaining heavy casualties. The Iranians had even committed their reserves in order to keep on driving back the Iraqis. After the defeat, Saddam Hussein executed several of his top generals, such as the commander of the 9th Armoured Division.[3]

Calls for a United Nations-mandated ceasefire in the Iran–Iraq War were made three days[5] after the liberation of Khorramshahr, and officials of both countries began discussing such a possibility.[6]

The anniversary of the liberation of Khorramshahr is annually observed in Iran on 24 May.[2][7]

Sevom Khordad, an Iranian air defense system, is named for the battle.[8]

In popular cultureEdit

The liberation of Khorramshahr is the subject of a number of wartime films, such as 1982's Another Growth by Homayun Purmand, the Pasdaran Army (Revolutionary Guard) Television Unit's 1983 documentary Recapturing Khorramshahr, and Kiumarth Monazzah's Forty Witnesses – The Second Narrative: Liberation of Khorramshahr (1983).[9][10]

A popular sad Persian song, "Mammad Naboodi" (ممد نبودی, meaning "Mammad [colloquial variant of Mohammad], you were not there [to see the city liberated]"), by Gholam Koveitipoor, is about Mohammad Jahanara, the Revolutionary Guard commander who was one of the last few Iranians to leave Khorramshahr when it fell to the Iraqis. He went on to fight in the Siege of Abadan and lead Iranian forces to recapture Khorramshahr; but he died on 24 May, in a plane crash, before the actual liberation of the city.[11]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Naraghi, Ehsan (193). From Palace to Prison: Inside the Iranian Revolution. Ivan R. Dee, publisher. ISBN 978-1566630337.
  2. ^ a b Staff Writer. "Iran celebrates anniversary of liberating Khorramshahr". Alalam.
  3. ^ a b c Murray, Williamson; Woods, Kevin M. (2014). The Iran-Iraq War: A Military and Strategic History. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-107-67392-2.
  4. ^ Razoux, Pierre; Elliott, Nicholas (2015). The Iran-Iraq War. Belknap Press. ISBN 978-0674088634.
  5. ^ Blight, James G.; Lang, Janet M.; Banai, Hussein; Byrne, Malcolm; Tirman, John (2014). Becoming Enemies: U.S.-Iran Relations and t. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. ISBN 978-1-4422-0831-5.
  6. ^ Sinkaya, Bayram (2015). The Revolutionary Guards in Iranian Politics: Elites and Shifting Relations. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-138-85364-5.
  7. ^ Staff writer. "Iran-Iraq War off-limits to historians in Iran". al-monitor.
  8. ^ Binnie, Jeremy (13 July 2014). "IRGC unveils new tactical ballistic missiles developments - IHS Jane's 360". London. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014.
  9. ^ Leaman, Oliver (2014). Companion Encyclopedia of Middle Eastern and North African Film. Routledge. ISBN 978-0415757553.
  10. ^ Naficy, Hamid (2012). A Social History of Iranian Cinema, Volume 4: The Globalizing Era, 1984–2010. Duke University Press Books. p. 664. ISBN 978-0822348788.
  11. ^ McLaurin, R. D. (July 1982). "Military Operations in the Gulf War: The Battle of Khorramshahr" (PDF). U.S. Army Human Engineering Laboratory: 24. Retrieved 25 August 2012. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External linksEdit