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Iran denies assassination in cyber war officer's death

October 3, 2013 13:40

Mojtaba Ahmadi reportedly died from bullet wounds to heart; Revolutionary Guard investigating "horrific incident."

Man analyzes computer code

cyber hack virus hacking 370. (photo credit:Jim Urquhart/Reuters)

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said they were investigating the death of an officer in a “horrific incident” on Monday, but denied media reports that it was an assassination.

Alborz, an Iranian website, reported earlier this week that Mojtaba Ahmadi, an official of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, was found near Karaj, a town northwest of Tehran, with a bullet in his heart.

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The London-based Daily Telegraph reported that Ahmadi was a commander of the unit’s Cyber War Headquarters, and quoted a local police commander as saying it was an assassination.

An IRGC statement was quoted by online Sepah News as saying, “in the wake of a horrific incident involving one of the IRGC officials... the matter is being investigated and the main reason of the event and the motive of the attacker has not been specified.”

Sepah, which is operated by the Revolutionary Guard, ran its report under the headline “Denial of news reports of the assassination of one of IRGC’s officials.”

The statement did not identify Ahmadi, but a local news website published pictures on Wednesday showing his funeral procession, along with text excerpts of the IRGC communique.

“The result of investigation will be announced through official channels, and any speculation will not be appropriate before the investigation is over,” an Iranian official said late on Wednesday.

Western officials have not commented on the incident.

Iran has been accused of mounting cyber attacks against Western targets in recent years, and has itself been the target of suspected US attacks on computer systems at its nuclear facilities.

For their part, authorities in Tehran have accused Israel and its Western allies of carrying out a series of assassinations against Iranian nuclear scientists. The last such attack happened in January 2012, when one man was killed by a car bomb.

Reuters contributed to this report.
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