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Fourth Iran-Iraq War Veteran Dies Of Self-Immolation

A handout photo made available by the Supreme Leader's official website shows, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei (L), in a meeting with family members of war "martyrs", in Tehran, Iran, 02 January, 2018.

Another Iranian war veteran injured in the deadly eight-year war with Iraq (1980-88) set himself on fire and died, Qom News website reported.

He is the fourth victim of self-immolation in less than three months in the Shi'ites' holy city of Qom, 150 kilometers (approximately 93 miles) south of the capital, Tehran.

"The victim, who was suffering from 45% physical disability, as well as neurotic disorder, set himself on fire last week at home," Qom News reported.

Earlier, three more disabled Iran-Iraq war veterans died of self-immolation in Qom. All these cases seem to be the result of veterans being denied benefits, such as free medical care,

Furthermore, the son of another war veteran also died of self-inflicted burns, after the authorities of a hospital refused to admit him. The local deputy of the Foundation of Martyrs and Veterans Affairs (FMV), Mohammad Aini, maintained that the night before the self-immolation, "The victim had gone to a hospital, demanding to be hospitalized," adding, "Hospital officials rejected him since he did not have a physician's written request."

Soldiers killed in action, particularly during the deadly Iran-Iraq war, are called "martyrs" in the Islamic Republic.

FMV is a state-run institution established to assist war victims' families and disabled veterans. Though it receives its funding directly from the national budget, it is only accountable to the Islamic Republic's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. Its mission is to manage and administer state-guaranteed benefits for families of those killed in action and veterans.

Self-immolation to protest hardship in Iran is not unprecedented. On January 7, during nationwide anti-ruling establishment protests, an Iranian man set himself on fire to protest the closure of his business by municipal agents. Shocked bystanders put out the flames and took the victim to the nearest hospital.