A member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) died in an “accident” at his home in recent days, Iran’s official IRNA news agency reported on Friday, following a report that the IRGC allegedly killed one of his officers suspected of espionage.
“Over the past few days, an IRGC member lost his life in an accident at his home, the cause of which is under investigation,” IRNA reported on Friday, citing a “knowledgeable source”.
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The IRNA report came hours after Iran International, a London-based Persian-language satellite news channel, reported, citing unnamed sources, that the IRGC had recently killed one of its officers. , Colonel Ali Esmailzadeh, suspected of espionage.
While confirming that an IRGC member had died in unclear circumstances in recent days, the IRNA source denied the Iran International report, describing it as “psychological warfare and fake news”.
Iran International reported that Esmailzadeh died on Monday “after falling from the roof of his house” in the town of Karaj, west of the capital Tehran. IRGC officials told Esmailzadeh’s family that he committed suicide, according to the report.
Esmailzadeh was a “close associate” of IRGC Colonel Sayyad Khodaei, who was assassinated in a gun attack in Tehran on May 22, he added.
The IRGC’s intelligence wing accused Esmailzadeh of involvement in Khodaei’s assassination by leaking information to foreign intelligence services, the report said, adding that the IRGC ultimately decided to kill Esmailzadeh by staging his suicide .
Iran has sworn revenge for Khodaei’s assassination. The IRGC leader blamed “Zionists” – a reference to Israel – for his assassination.
The New York Times reported last week that Israel had told the United States that it was behind Khodaei’s assassination.
Israeli media said Khodaei staged attacks against Israelis abroad.
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