Wednesday , 17 April 2024

IRGC Commander Killed in Damascus Previously Suppressed Protests in Iran

Iranwire – Mohammad Reza Zahedi, a commander of Iran’s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) killed in a suspected Israeli airstrike in Damascus on Monday had previously been involved in quelling anti-establishment protests in Iran. 

Zahedi was once the commander of the Sarullah camp, and at the time of the 2016 exercise, he was heading the IRGC forces in Syria and Lebanon

In December 2023 IranWire obtained several hours of video footage of joint exercises between the IRGC and the police force of the Islamic Republic to prepare for potential protests.

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The footage dates back to 2016, a year before the eruption of mass protests that rocked Iran until last year and were brutally repressed by security forces, leading to the death of hundreds of demonstrators.

The videos shed light on the strategic approach of forces of the Islamic Republic, the nature of the exercise, and the perspectives of IRGC commanders toward public demonstrations. 

A key figure in the exercises was Mohammad Reza Zahedi.

Zahedi was once the commander of the Sarullah camp, and at the time of the 2016 exercise, he was heading the IRGC forces in Syria and Lebanon. 

Zahedi also played a central role in the supply of Iranian-made missiles to Hezbollah and had been subject to US sanctions as early as 2010.

Previously, he had served as the head of Iran’s air force and ground forces and played a significant role in quelling the Iranian protests in 2019.

The Islamic Republic has confirmed that at least five advisers of the IRGC were killed in Damascus Monday alongside Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and Zahedi’s deputy, General Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi. 

Islamic Republic Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Nasser Kanaani, condemned the attack.

Iran, he said, has the right to retaliate and will determine the appropriate form of response and “punishment for the aggressor.”

The attack, Nasser Kanaani said, is a “violation of international regulations.”

He characterized the attack as a “violation of international regulations.”

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, while reserving its rights to take countermeasures, decides on the type of reaction and punishment of the aggressor,” Kanaani said. 

Iran’s foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said: “We consider this aggression to have violated all diplomatic norms and international treaties.”

“Benjamin Netanyahu has completely lost his mental balance due to the successive failures in Gaza and his failure to achieve his Zionist goals,” he added. 

Iran’s ambassador to Syria, Hossein Akbari, said Iran’s response for the strike would be “at the same magnitude and harshness.

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