Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur, one of the founding members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah, lost the battle against COVID-19. The Iranian national died on Monday, June 7th at the age of 74.
Mohtashamipur was a Shia cleric who was active during the 1979 Iranian Revolution that overthrew Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and placed Ayatollah Khomeini as the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and its Supreme Leader.
In 1984, Mohtashamipur survived an Israeli assassination attempt while he was the Ambassador of Iran to Syria. He received a package containing a book that detonated when he opened it, costing him his right hand.
It was during his time as Ambassador in Damascus that he was believed to have played a role in creating Hezbollah. He reportedly helped found the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Iran and, as Ambassador, brought the force into the region to form Hezbollah, according to Asharq Al-Awsat.
He reportedly “actively supervised” Hezbollah’s creation and infiltration into already-existing Shia movements in Lebanon.
He is also said to have played an active role in overseeing the attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983 and 1984, the 1983 Beirut barracks bombing that targeted American and French service members of the Multinational Force in Lebanon (MNF).
All attacks were suicide bombings linked to Iran-backed group Hezbollah as the alleged perpetrator.
Moreover, Mohtashamipur served as Iran‘s Minister of Interior between 1985-1989 and was a Member of the Iranian Parliament from 2000 to 2004.
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