Two Iranian senior generals have died in the span of three days, fueling fears over possible conflict with Israel, according to The Times.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard was already reeling from claims of infiltration by Israel before the announcements. One was said to have died of heart disease, and the other coronavirus, but the timing has led to rumours they may have been killed or injured in action.
Brigadier General Mohammad Hosseinzadeh Hejazi, 65, who was the deputy head of the Quds Force, the Guard’s overseas arm, was at first said to have died of heart disease. The authorities later clarified that his condition was aggravated by the effects of chemical weapons poisoning in his youth during the Iraq war in the 1980s, and that he had suffered coronavirus some months ago but recovered. He was said to be in charge of Iran’s all-important relations with Hezbollah in Lebanon, and in procuring its precision guided missiles, a major source of worry for Israel.
Reports of the death of Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Haghbin on Tuesday were even more contradictory. State media said he had died of coronavirus, but a news agency released a photograph of him in hospital in which, while he was wearing breathing apparatus, he was sitting up with both legs heavily bandaged. The photograph was later substituted for one in which his legs were not visible.
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ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR: CONNOR KMIECIK
PHOTO CREDITS: THE NEW YORK TIMES
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