In an address to the people of Sarpol-e Zahab town in Kermanshah Province, the Leader said “I feel the same pain that each of you have in your hearts. I would have liked to be among you at a better time. This is not the first time that the people of this region go through such natural plights.”
He went on to say that “I was among you during the war Iraq imposed on Iran,” and saw that the people of Sarpol-e Zahab showed resistance and endurance in the war.
“I expect you to show it again. The brave and heroic people always stand and defeat the mishap.”
During the Iraq war under the former dictator Saddam Hussein, Iraqi troops captured Sarpol-e-Zahab in 1980 before the city fought back and drove out the invaders.
The Leader further described the 7.3-magnitude quake that hit western Iran and left over 400 dead as a disaster and said “see how the whole Iran considers itself indebted to Kermanshah. Everyone helped as much as their means would allow them.”
Ayatollah Khamenei also said the officials in charge are doing their best to provide help for the quake-hit families.
The Leader called on the officials to double their efforts to help those affected, “in the same way that the Army rushed to the assistance of those caught under the debris in the cities and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps did so in the villages in the early hours after the earthquake.”
Had they not come, Iran would have suffered much more bereavement and sadness, “and our casualties would have gone much higher, he added.
As many as 436 people were killed after the 7.3-magnitude earthquake hit Kermanshah province on November 11.
Aftershocks continue to rattle the affected areas, with 647 tremors recorded until Sunday noon following the initial earthquake, as medics and rescue teams race to treat the injured and help retrieve bodies from under toppled buildings.
The earthquake has led to an outpouring of solidarity from Iranians across the country and millions more in the diaspora, prompting state officials and personalities to visit the affected areas.