Oral History of Sacred Defense as Narrated by Morteza Ghorbani

On the Road to Victory

Malihe Kamaledin
Translated by M. B. Khoshnevisan


The first volume of Morteza Ghorbani's narration of the scared defense is entitled "On the Road to Victory". It has been compiled by Amir Razzagh Zadeh and released by the Center for Sacred Defense Documents and Research in 2019. The book consists of 16 sessions of interview with this general of the scared defense era conducted in the years between 2009 to 2012.

Morteza Ghorbani was born in a traditional and religious family in Isfahan in May 1957 and when he was called for serving in the military, he ran away and took part in the revolution. After the victory of the Islamic revolution, he started working in the Revolution Court, neutralizing the branch of Nojeh Coup (Neqab) in Isfahan. Then, he continued his revolutionary activities by fighting against the rebels in eastern Iran. Concurrent with nationwide invasion of the Iraqi Ba'th regime on Iran, he along with some of his friends left for Khuzestan Province, resisting in Khorramshahr alongside other military and popular forces. He played a major role in preventing the fall of Abadan and his presence in the battlefields led to his appointment as the Commander of the Karbala Brigade as one of the first brigades of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC).

The book begins with a description of Brigadier General Ghorbani's childhood, and his simultaneous education and work at a young age. In the continuation of this session, he explains how he was sent to the army and why and how he escaped from the military service. He also narrates his activities before and after the revolution, including the formation of the Towhid group, his activities in the revolutionary courts and the revolutionary committees, the discovery and neutralization of the Nojeh coup, and the fight against criminals and smugglers in Kerman, and Sistan and Baluchestan Provinces.

The second session is dedicated to the start of the war and description of the atmosphere of the society at that time. Ghorbani in this section talks about how he and his friends entered Ahvaz and settled at Jundishapur University in this city, and then talks about being sent to the Susangard front and then Khorramshahr and forming the first resistance cells on the southern fronts. In this session, the events of the first days of the war, deployment in Khorramshahr Mosque, the first confrontation with the forces of the Ba'athist enemy and the spoils obtained from the enemy have also been discussed.

In a section entitled "Khorramshahr's Occupation", the book has talked about resistance in Khorramshahr from 1st of October until its fall and the retreat of the combatants. In the third session, the latest resistance of the city's defenders and the bitter scenes of retreat from the northern part of Khorramshahr were also discussed.  

The book's fourth session is dedicated to the operation in Kooy-e Zulfaghari. Ghorbani in this session has first explained about the general situation in Abadan's front and then about the conditions of Fedaiyan-e Islam, gendarmerie, army, Basij and IRGC forces especially the Karbala group and their positions. After explaining about the operation in Kooy-e Zulfaghari, he also talks about how he got familiar with Mehdi Bakeri's group.

In his fifth session of the interview, general Bagheri has explained about the events in Abadan from 11th of November 1980 to 10th of January 1981. He has talked about the defense lines and routes in Abadan and how they were organized and commanded, the amount of connection with the headquarters in Abadan, the carrying out of limited and harassing operations against the enemy, way of their connection and correspondence with the authorities for receiving procurement and weapons assistance, connection with Abadan's native residents and dispute with Banisadr, the then president of Iran.

Then, the narrator explains about the planning and implementation of Moden Hills Operation. He in this section of the book talks about using the oil pipelines for reaching the enemy lines, using truck tires for building shelters and how he got familiar with martyr Bakeri. He also describes about the strategy of invasion of the forces and how there infiltrated the enemy's frontline in Moden Hills.

Samen al-A'emmeh (AS) Operation and the breaking of Abadan's siege is the subject of the next session. After fully explaining about how Abadan's siege was broken, he regarded the Samen al-A'emmeh (AS) Operation as the biggest joint operation between the army and IRGC. In continuation, the preparation of the 25th Brigade of Karbala for carrying out Tariq al-Quds Operation is narrated. General Ghorbani in this session has pointed out to the goals such as creating a gap between the enemy forces, approaching the border line and removing the threat of siege and the occupation of the cities of Sussangerd and Ahvaz for this operation. The narrator in the next session describes the Tariq al-Quds Operation and its results, and at the end of this section, Brigadier General Sirous Lotfi, the then commander of the 16th Armored Division of the Army, completed general Ghorbani's remarks.

The book's tenth session is about the Iraqi invasion on Chazabeh Border Terminal and obtaining necessary preparation for Fat'h al-Mobin Operation. In this session, issues such as the formation of units like the 27th Brigade of Mohammad Rasullollah (SAWA), Vali-e Asr (may God hasten his reappearance), 41st of Sarallah (AS), 19th of Fajr, 17th of Qom, and 33rd of Al-Mahdi (may god hasten his reappearance) have been discussed. Identifying the operational area of Fatah al-Mobin, capturing and destroying the enemy's artillery, mentioning the names of the commanders of the battalions, the situation and composition of the units and battalions of the 25th Karbala Brigade and the talent of this brigade are among the final topics of the tenth session. 

Fat'h al-Mobin Operation and the liberation of the areas in western Karkheh River is the main topic of the 11th session. In this meeting, the narrator fully describes the operation and then the strong and weak points of this operation, the amount of damage and casualties of friendly and enemy forces, as well as the results of this battle.

In the twelfth session, after referring to the meeting of the commanders with Imam Khomeini (God bless his soul) before Beit al-Moqaddas Operation and his emphasis on not harming to the people in Basra and Tanoumeh in this operation, general Ghorbani explained the details of Beit al-Moqaddas Operation. In continuation of the book, the narrator in the thirteenth session describes the first and second phase of Beit al-Moqaddas Operation, referring to other stages in the fourteenth session.

The topic of the fifteenth session was Ramadhan Operation. Explaining the stages of the Ramadhan operation, he pointed out the reasons for the failure of the operation, adding that although we did not achieve our goals in the operation, we destroyed a large part of the Iraqi army's capabilities. He also considered the entry of Iranian forces into Iraqi territory as a right step and added that this was the only way to put pressure on Saddam and persuade him and his allies to leave the conflict. 

The final session of the book discusses the Muharram operation. In this meeting, Ghorbani narrates the events before the Muharram operation and then describes the time and stages of the operation, how the Karbala Division joined the neighboring units, and the drowning of some of Imam Hussein Division's troops due to floods, results and achievements of the Muharram operation and the amount of the enemy's casualties and trophies obtained in this operation.

The book "On the Road to Victory" has been provided to the interested people and researchers in the field of oral history of the Sacred Defense in the form of 479 pages, 1,000 copies and a price of 45,000 Tomans.   

Number of Visits: 1988


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