Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, praised the large turnout June 16 for the Tehran funeral of 270 veterans from the Iran-Iraq War as being “one of the most memorable events of the revolution.” The return of Iranians killed during the war with Iraq during the 1980s is not new. But this funeral consisted of 175 Iranian divers who were buried alive with their hands tied, news that shocked Iranians and served as a unifying event in remembrance of a painful era.
Gen. Seyyed Mohammad Bagherzadeh first told reporters on May 18 about the bodies of 175 Iranian combat divers who were buried alive. The news was shared widely on social media, with many sharing the last known pictures of the divers on the Iran-Iraq border. Later, as officials shared pictures of the corpses, Iranians online were once again moved by the tragic event, sharing those pictures online. Many Iranian designers created graphics dedicated to the divers. A blog called “175 shahid” (175 martyrs) was created to compile the graphics and other images Iranians shared online.