Wednesday , 17 April 2024

What Do We Know About the IRGC Commander Killed by Israel?

Iranwire – Mohammad Reza (Ali) Zahedi, who died in an attack near the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in the Mazzeh neighborhood of Damascus on Monday, may not have been widely recognized by the public.

However, for the past four decades, he held high-ranking positions as one of the top commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). 

His significance lies in his roles as battalions commander and the commander of the ground forces of the IRGC.

In the past, Zahedi served as the deputy commander of Sar-Allah Headquarters; from 2026 to 2019, he was the deputy of IRGC operations, both roles entailing responsibilities for repressive actions.

Previously, IranWire released an exclusive video showing Zahedi’s involvement in a joint exercise between the IRGC and the police aimed at quelling potential protests. 

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These recordings date back to 2016, when he held the deputy position in IRGC operations. This was before protests ensued from 2017 to 2021, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of protesters.

Known as Ali during the Iran-Iraq war, Zahedi was among the commanders from Isfahan within the IRGC. 

However, his leadership of Imam Hossein’s 14th Division did not garner approval from the so-called left movement in Isfahan.

In contrast to other Isfahan commanders within the IRGC, Zahedi maintained a low profile in public despite holding significant ranks.

Among the IRCG commanders who lost their lives in conflicts in Russia and Iraq, Zahedi can be likened to Hossein Hamadani concerning his positions during and after the war, although Zahedi’s ranks exceeded those of Hamadani. 

Among the commanders from Isfahan, figures like Hossein Kharazi, Ahmad Kazemi, and Morteza Ghorbani occupy a more prominent place in the public eye, while others remain relatively lesser-known. 

Yahya Rahim Safavi, the former commander of the IRGC, recounted a trip to Ahvaz in 1981, during which he and some Isfahan IRGC members, including Ali Zahedi, were present.

Zahedi played pivotal roles in various military operations. 

Notably, he commanded one of the axes in a September 1981 operation during the war and later assumed the role of battalion commander in subsequent operations, including Samen-ol-A’emeh. 

Operation Samen-ol-A’emeh was a military offensive during the Iran–Iraq War. It aimed to lift the Iraqi siege of Abadan and was carried out jointly by the Iranian army and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

In the “Al-Quds route” operation, where the siege of Abadan was broken, Zahedi commanded three battalions tasked with closing the Chazabeh area.

In reports detailing the operations of Imam Hossein’s 14th Division, Zahedi’s name frequently appears alongside Mohammed Reza Abu Shahab, Kharazi’s successor. 

Following his command of the 44th Qamar Bani Hashem Brigade, Zahedi was appointed commander of the 14th Division of Imam Hossein after Kharazi’s death. 

However, conflicts arose among political factions within this army and the Isfahan army regarding Zahedi’s appointment. 

Ayatollah Taheri, the Friday prayer leader of Isfahan, expressed opposition to Zahedi’s introduction as commander, aligning with the sentiments of figures like Gholamo Hossein Karbaschi and Abbas Ali Rouhani.

Zahedi continued to serve as the commander of the 14th Division of Imam Hossein until 1991, participating in various operations. 

Despite his significant contributions during the Iran-Iraq war, he remained relatively inconspicuous in the public sphere afterward.

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