The Office of the Supreme Leader

Leader's Statements at the Funeral of Major General Kazemi and His Colleagues

The following is the text of the statements made by the Leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei, at the funeral of Major General Ahmad Kazemi and a number of his colleagues on January 11, 2006. Major General Kazemi, Commander of the Ground Force of Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), and some other senior IRGC officers attained martyrdom in a tragic plane crash near the city of Orumiyeh on January 9, 2006.
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful

A number of the best individuals have once again departed, and we are still here.

Two weeks ago Martyr Kazemi came to see me. He told me, “I would like to ask you to do me two favors. First, pray to Almighty Allah that I will end up as an honorable person. Second, pray that I will attain martyrdom.”

I told him, “It will really be a pity if you and others like you die an ordinary death. You and others who have passed through all those crucial stages should not die. You should all end up as martyrs. However, it is not yet time for this, since our country and our Islamic system still need you.”

I further said, “The day when I was informed about the martyrdom of General Sayyad-Shirazi, I said that he was worthy of martyrdom, that he deserved to be martyred. It would have been a pity if he had died an ordinary death.”

When I said this, the eyes of Martyr Kazemi became filled with tears, and he told me, “God willing, you will receive the news of my martyrdom too!”

The distance between life and death is a very short distance. It all happens in a moment. We are busy with temporal affairs, and we are heedless of the fact that all are moving forward to meet the Almighty.

Everybody will meet the Almighty, but not all in the same manner. Some will meet their Creator as honorable individuals indeed. Surely General Ahmad Kazemi and his colleagues were among such individuals, as they had made sincere and earnest endeavors in their lifetime.

We should try to meet Almighty Allah as honorable men. We will never know whether in the next moment we will cross this border or not. It is likely that our turn to cross this border will come in the next hour or the next day.

We should implore the Almighty to predestine for us the kind of death that will itself reflect honor on us.

May Almighty Allah preserve you all.
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