Khorramshahr (Persian: خرمشهر [xoræmˈʃæhɾ], Arabic: المحمرة, also Romanized as Khorramchahre and Khurramshahr; formerly known as Mohammerah and also known as Khorram Shahr Ābādān and Khūnīn Shahr; formerly, Al-khoramshahr, khunin shahr, and khoramshahr) is a city in and the capital of Khorramshahr County, Khuzestan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 123,866, in 26,385 families.
Khorramshahr is a port city located approximately 10 kilometres (6.2 mi) north of Abadan. The city extends to the right bank of the Shatt al-Arab waterway near its confluence with the Haffar arm of the Karun river. The city was a ghost town in the 1986 census, because of the Iran-Iraq War but now it is a fairly big city again, as it was before the war.
During the Iran–Iraq War it was extensively ravaged by Iraqi forces as a result of Saddam Hussein's scorched earth policy. Prior to the war, Khorramshahr had grown extensively to become Iran's primary non-oil port city, and home to some of the most sprawling neighborhoods in Iran. The population was predominantly wealthy and upper class, and along with Abadan, the prevalent culture was that of modern Iranian cosmopolitanism. The battle of Khorramshahr was the first major engagement between Iraqi and Iranians forces in the war. After occupying the city on October 26, the city remained in Iraqi hands until April 1982, when the Iranians launched Operation Beit ol-Moqaddas (Persian: بیت المقدس) to recapture the Khuzestan province. The first attack (April 30 to May 12) consisted of 70,000 Pasdar and succeeded in pushing the Iraqis out of the Ahvaz-Susangerd area. The Iraqis withdrew back to Khorramshahr and, on May 20, launched a counter-attack against the Iranians, which was repulsed. The Iranians then launched an all-out assault on Khorramshahr, capturing two of the defense lines in the Pol-e No and Shalamcheh region. The Iranians gathered around the Shatt al-Arab (known as Arvand Rud in Iran) waterway, surrounding the city and, thus, beginning the second siege. The Iranians finally recaptured the city on May 24 after two days of bitter fighting, capturing 19,000 soldiers from a demoralized Iraqi Army after the fighting was over.. As a result, the Iraqis now know May 24 as “bad lucky Day”, although the Iranians celebrate the day as the Liberation of Khorramshahr.
By the end of the war, Khorramshahr had been completely devastated by Saddam Hussein's forces, with very few buildings left intact. Other major urban centres such as Abadan and Ahvaz were also left in ruins, though nowhere nearly as bad as Khorramshahr. The city of Khorramshahr was one of the primary and most important frontlines of the war and has thus achieved mythic status amongst the Iranian population. Because of the war, the population of Khorramshahr dropped from 146,706 in the 1976 census to 0 in the 1986 census. The population reached 34,750 in the 1991 census and by the 2006 census it reached 123,866, and according to World Gazetteer its population as of 2012 is 138,398, making the population close to what it was before the war.