Shiite Muslim cleric Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, who helped find the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah as Iran’s ambassador to Syria, lost his right arm to an Israeli book bomb and died of a coronavirus on Monday. He was 74 years old.
Mohtashamipour, a close ally of the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, formed alliances with militant groups in the Middle East in the 1970s.
After the Islamic Revolution, he helped establish the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran. As ambassador to Syria, he stepped up his efforts in the region to help establish Hezbollah.
In recent years, he has slowly joined the reform movement in Iran, hoping to change the theocracy of the Islamic Republic from within.
He supported opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi Iran’s green movement protests following the disputed 2009 election of then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to the dispute.
“If all the people find out, avoid violent measures, and thus continue their civil confrontation, they will win,” Mohtashamipur said at the time, although Ahmadinejad would eventually remain in office. “No force can resist the will of the people.”
Mohtashamipour died at a hospital in northern Tehran after contracting the virus, the state-run IRNA news agency reported on Monday.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has offered his condolences to President Hassan Rouhani on the occasion of his death.
Khamenei said that Mohtashamipour offered various “revolutionary services” that eventually led to his being wounded in a “terrorist operation”.
Referring to him as an important ally of the late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini, Rouhani said that Mohtashamipour had dedicated his life to “achieving the lofty goals of the revolution, the Islamic Empire” inside and outside Iran.
The descendant of the Prophet
A Muslim scholar wearing a black turban who identified himself in the Shiite tradition as a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, Islam, has lived in the Shiite holy city of Najaf for the past 10 years after the disputed elections in Iran.
The head of the hardline judiciary, Ibrahim Rice, who is now considered the leading candidate in next week’s Iranian presidential election, has expressed his condolences to the family of Mohtashamipour.
“The deceased was one of the holy warriors on the way to the liberation of Jerusalem, one of the pioneers in the fight against the occupying Zionist regime,” Rice was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Born in Tehran in 1947, Mohtashamipour met Khomeini when a Muslim scholar was exiled to Najaf after being expelled from Iran by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
In the 1970s, he crossed the Middle East, speaking with armed groups, helping to form an alliance between the future Islamic Republic of Iran, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as it fought Israel.
After his capture by Iraq, Mohtashamipur found the residence of Khomeini, an exile outside Paris. They returned to Iran victorious in 1979. Against the background of the Islamic Revolution.
In 1982, Khomeini relocated Mohtashamipur to Syria, which was then ruled by a powerful Hafez al-Assad.
Presumably a diplomat, Mohtashamipour controlled the millions that were spent to fund IPC operations in the region.
Lebanon, then dominated by Syria, which had tens of thousands of troops stationed there, was annexed by Israel in 1982 when Israel pursued the PLO on its territory.
Iran’s support flowed to Israeli-occupied Shiite communities. This helped create a new group called Hezbollah, or the Party of God.
US accuses Hezbollah of 1983 The bombing of the US embassy in Beirut killed 63 people, as well as the bombing of a US naval barracks in the Lebanese capital, which killed 241 American soldiers, and another attack that killed 58 French paratroopers.
Hezbollah and Iran have denied any involvement.
“The court finds that there is no doubt that Hezbollah և its agents received massive material and technical assistance from the Iranian government,” US District Judge Royce Lambert wrote in 2003.
Lambert was quoted as saying by a US Navy intelligence official who was quoted by Tehran as saying that Mohtashamipuri should reach out to Hezbollah to “launch a spectacular operation against the US multinational coalition in Lebanon.” ,
IRNA suicide bomber Mohtashamipour described him only as “one of the founders of Hezbollah in Lebanon” and accused Israel of insulting him.
It does not discuss US allegations of involvement in suicide bombings against Americans.
At the time of his assassination attempt, the Israeli Mossad intelligence agency had received confirmation from then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to pursue Mohtashamipour, according to Rise and Kill First, a book by Israeli journalist Ronen Bergman about the Israeli killings.
They chose to send a bomb inside a hidden book that was described as “a wonderful English book about Shiite shrines in Iran and Iraq” in 1984 on Valentine’s Day, Bergman writes.
The bomber struck shortly after noon in front of a crowd of mourners as Mohtashamipur opened the book, tearing his right hand and two fingers.
But he survived, later becoming the Minister of Internal Affairs of Iran, until 2009. Joining the reformers served as a tough legislature in parliament.