Iran will soon exact revenge on Israel for the recent killing of an Iranian
Revolutionary Guard Corps commander in Syria, an aide to Iranian Supreme Leader
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was quoted on Saturday as saying.
Iran said on
Thursday that an Iranian military commander named Hassan Shateri, also known as
Hessam Khoshnevis, had been killed in Syria by rebels fighting President Bashar
Assad, an ally of Tehran.
But Iran’s envoy to Beirut, Ghazanfar
Roknabadi, on Thursday drew a link between the killing and Israel.
Shirazi, Khamenei’s representative to the IRGC’s elite Quds force, said on
Friday evening that Iran’s “resolve against Israel” had only grown stronger with
“Our enemies should also know that we will quickly get
revenge for [the death of] Haj Hassan [Shateri] from the Israelis, and the
enemies cannot shut off the Iranian people with such stupid acts,” Shirazi was
quoted as saying by the Iranian Students’ News Agency on Saturday.
has not commented on the killing.
The IRGC media office said last week
that Shateri had been “martyred on his way from Damascus to Beirut by
However, a faction of Syrian rebels was quoted by The Wall
Street Journal as saying on Friday that Shateri had actually been assassinated
on January 30, when Israel allegedly attacked a convoy and military factory in
Jamaraya, Syria, near the Lebanon border.
The account seems in line with
Iranian allegations that “suspected Israeli agents” carried out the
Though killed in Syria, Shateri served as an IRGC commander in
Lebanon. Reports in the Iranian media suggest Shateri was an important figure
who had both overt and a covert roles.
Officially, Shateri was described
as being in charge of Iranian construction efforts in southern Lebanon following
the 2006 Second Lebanon War. However, one of the mourners at his funeral, an
employee of the Iranian Embassy in Beirut, described him as being “no less
[important]” than assassinated Hezbollah field commander Imad
Mugniyah was a critical figure in the Hezbollah hierarchy and
was behind the Shi’ite terror organization’s most ambitious attacks for many
The comparison to Mugniyah could be a reference to the centrality
of Shetari’s role in aiding Hezbollah’s armaments efforts. The organization is
currently estimated to be in possession of some 65,000 rockets.
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Lappin contributed to this report.