Main Menu

Another survivor of chemical warfare died in silence...




  Jahanshah Sadeghi at theTehran Peace

  Museum, September 2014

Jahanshah Sadeghi

War Veteran, Peace Activist and Chemical Weapons Survivor


“What do I wish for? I wish for a world without suffering.”


These are the words of the late Jahanshah Sadeghi, who sadly passed away on March 15th, 2015 in his hometown ofHarsin, Kermanshah in Western Iran.Jahanshah, a retired army medical corps Colonel, served his country valiantly during the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-1988.


In 1980, just as the war started, Jahanshah graduated from the army medical school as a paramedic. Immediately, he was sent to serve in military hospitals near the war front in Kermanshah Province and then to the front itself, near Soomar. For six years, he dedicated his life to treating soldiers injured during the war.


“I loved my job,” Jahanshah once said, “I really felt like I was making a difference. We were all eager to help the wounded soldiers survive.”


Jahanshah, while striving to save the wounded, was unfortunately to become a casualty himself. On the 31st December 1986, Iraqi fighter jets dropped eight sulphur mustard gas bombs on and around his field hospital at Soomar. Jahanshah was to become one of the many thousands of victims of chemical warfare, suffering unspeakable pain from burnt skin, eyes and lungs. Sulphur mustard gas has no antidote and so Jahanshah spent the rest of his life in recovery coping with poor vision,30% of normal lung capacity and a life drastically slowed down due to his injuries.


“We need to encourage our children to love their neighbours.”
Yet, despite a life scarred by war wounds, Jahanshah was a man of poetry and of peace. In searching for his world without suffering, he spent many years volunteering at the Tehran Peace Museum. Amongst his duties as a museum guide, Jahanshah also drew on his own painful war experiences to educate visitors - and especially young Iranians - about the nature of warfare as well as our collective responsibility in building a culture of peace.


“We need to educate our young people about the horrors of chemical weapons,” Jahanshah said, “and at the same time we need to encourage our children to love their neighbours.”


Jahanshah traveled overseas to raise awareness about the consequences of chemical weapons. In 2010, he met with Ambassador AhmëtUzümcü of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW)at The Hague, in the Netherlands. And, in August 2014, Jahanshah visited Hiroshima in Japan to share experiences with survivors of the nuclear holocaust at the anniversary commemoration.


In an interview at the Tehran Peace Museum in February 2014, Jahanshah shared his dreams.


  Jahanshah Sadeghi 1961-2015
“I wish,” said Jahanshah, “that peace in this world would replace my coughing, my wheezing vocal cords. I wish that I could once again smell the aromas of all the beautiful flowers. I wish for one night, just one night, when I can relax and get a good night’s rest. I wish for one night of peaceful sleep for my wife and my children. I wish that the next generation would not have to suffer like this.”


Jahanshah is survived by his wife, Batoul, two sons and one daughter. Through Jahanshah’s sacrifice, may they and future generations see the peace he wished for.


May Jahanshah Sadeghi now rest in peace.