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Iranian Islamic student who helped find Hezbollah dies of COVID | Coronavirus News Plague

Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, an Islamic student who, as Iran’s ambassador to Syria, helped find the Lebanese army Hezbollah and lost his right hand at a bomb planted by Israel, died Monday on a coronavirus. He was 74 years old.

A close ally of Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Mohtashamipour formed an alliance with militias in the Middle East in the 1970s.

After the Islamic revolution, he helped find the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in Iran and, as ambassador to Syria, brought in an army to support Hezbollah.

In his later years, he began to take part in a series of radical changes in Iran, in hopes of reforming the Islamic Republic’s theology from within.

He backed opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mahdi Karroubi in Green Travel to Iran Demonstrations following the 2009 election of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

“Once everyone knows, refrain from violence and continue to fight them, they will win,” Mohtashamipour said at the time, although Ahmadinejad remained in office. “There is no power against the will of the people.”

Mohtashamipour has died at a hospital in northern Tehran after contracting the virus, the IRNA news agency reported on Monday.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and President Hassan Rouhani have apologized for Mohtashamipour’s death.

Khamenei said Mohtashamipour provided various “transformational services” that ultimately resulted in him being injured in “terrorist” activities.

Rouhani described him as an important ally of the late prime minister, Ayatollah Khomeini, and said that Mohtashamipour had given his life to “achieve the great goals of Islamic reform and establishment” inside and outside Iran.

Descendants of the Prophet

The Muslim scholar, who wore a black turban that identified him as a Shia native as a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, was living in the Shia holy city of Najaf, Iraq, 10 years before the election in Iran.

Hardline lawmaker Ebrahim Raisi, who now appears to be running for president in Iran next week, has apologized to Mohtashamipour’s family

“The deceased was one of the white soldiers who were on their way to exile in Jerusalem and one of the pioneers fighting to overthrow the Zionist government,” the President said, according to IRNA.

Born in Tehran in 1947, Mohtashamipour met Khomeini while a Muslim student was in exile in Najaf after being deported to Iran by Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.

In the 1970s, he crossed the Middle East in talks with the military, helping to form an alliance between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as it fought Israel.

Mohtashamipour, center, speaks at a conference on the Nazi genocide by Rabbi Moishe Arye Friedman, left, from Austria, and Rabbi Ahron Cohen, right, from England, in Tehran [File: Vahid Salemi/AP]

After being arrested by Iraq, Mohtashamipour went to Khomeini’s home where he fled outside Paris. They returned, victorious, to Iran in the middle of the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

In 1982, Khomeini sent Mohtashamipour to Syria, then led by the powerful Hafez al-Assad.

Despite being an ambassador, Mohtashamipour oversees the millions who poured IRGC funds into the area.

Lebanon, then ruled by Syria, which sent thousands of troops there, found itself defeated by Israel in 1982 while Israel was following the PLO in its territory.

Iranian aid reached Shia areas occupied by Israel – it helped to form a new group called Hezbollah, or “Party of God”.

The United States has blamed Hezbollah for the 1983 bombing of a US embassy in Beirut that killed 63 people, as well as the bombing of US military bases in Lebanon’s capital that killed 241 U.S. troops and another attack that killed 58 French paratroopers. .

Hezbollah and Iran declined to comment.

“The Court finds that there is no doubt that Hezbollah and its allies have received extensive support and expertise from the Iranian government,” wrote US Regional Judge Royce Lamberth in 2003.

Lamberth’s comments, quoting US Navy veteran Mohtashamipour as he was told by Tehran to reach Hezbollah in the near future “to encourage the rebels against Lebanon, and to” take extraordinary action against the United States Marines “. .

A bomb blast

Mohtashamipour’s IRNA report only described him as “one of the founders of Hezbollah in Lebanon” and blamed Israel for the bombing that injured him.

He did not discuss the US allegations that he had participated in the suicide bombing of the United States.

At the time of his assassination attempt, the Israeli intelligence agency received permission from former Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir to continue Mohtashamipour, according to Rise and Kill First, a book on the killing of Israel by journalist Ronen Bergman.

He decided to send a hidden bomb inside a book called “the best English book about Shia holy places in Iran and Iraq” on Valentine’s Day in 1984, Bergman wrote.

The bomb exploded as Mohtashamipour opened the book, tearing his right hand with two fingers on his left.

But he survived, later became Iran’s interior minister and served as a strong member of parliament before joining the reformers in 2009.

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