Iranian Cleric Who Allegedly Founded Lebanese Hezbollah Dead Due to COVID-19

Mohtashamipur, a close follower of Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, was reportedly responsible for making alliances with Muslim groups across the Middle East in the 1970s while serving on behalf of the former Iranian leader.

Ali Akbar Mohtashamipur, a Shiite cleric and the alleged founder of Lebanese Shia Islamist group Hezbollah, died of the novel coronavirus on Monday at a hospital in northern Tehran, the Iranian IRNA news agency reported.

According to the report, the death of the cleric, who was about 74-years-old, the exact date of his birth is unknown, was confirmed by his daughter.

Mohtashamipur helped build the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Iran after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, and as ambassador to Syria in the 1980s, he allegedly brought the force into the region to assist in the establishment of Hezbollah.

According to his obituary, written by IRNA, after being arrested in Iraq, Mohtashamipur made his way to Ayatollah Khomeini’s residence in exile outside of Paris. They later both returned to Iran during the Islamic Revolution.

Lebanon, which was occupied by Syria at the time and had its troops stationed there, was invaded by Israel in 1982 as Israel pursued the Palestinian fighting groups in the country. Mohtashamipur reportedly orchestrated the increase of aid towards the Shiite groups in the country. That money reportedly aided the formation of a new organization in Lebanon, whose name translates as “the Party of…

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