One of The Hezbollah Co-founders Dies of COVID-19

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Ali-Akbar Mohtashamipour, a former interior minister of Iran and one of the founders of Hezbollah in Lebanon, died of COVID-19 in Tehran, official Iranian media reported Monday. He was 75.

Mohtashamipour, who also served as a reformist member of the Iranian Parliament, died of complications from the coronavirus early Monday at Khatam-al-Anbia Hospital in the capitol, the official news agency IRNA reported.

He was Iran’s interior minister under reformist President Mir-Hossein Mousavi from 1985 to 1989 and also was as a key adviser to President Sayyid Mohammad Khatami from 1997 to 1999.

While serving as Iran’s ambassador to Syria from 1982 to 1986, Mohtashamipour was among a group of Iranian officials who played crucial roles in establishing Hezbollah in Lebanon, according to the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.

Classified by Israel and the United States as a terrorist organization shortly after its creation, Hezbollah carried out a series of suicide bomb attacks in Beirut in 1983, including the Oct. 23, 1983, truck bombing of a U.S. Marine Corps compound in which 241 U.S. service personnel were killed.

The next year, Mohtashamipour was seriously injured when a book sent to him at the Iranian embassy in Damascus detonated, blowing off his hand, according to Israeli investigative journalist Ronen Bergman.

In his 2018 book Rise and Kill First: The Secret History of Israel’s Targeted Assassinations, Bergman claims the operation was personally ordered by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir and carried out by the Mossad.

This article has been adapted from its original source.