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Senior Iranian Officer Dies, Leaving Questions About His Dea…

The dying of a senior Iranian army officer at his house in a Tehran suburb per week in the past has fueled conflicting studies that he fell from a balcony, dedicated suicide or was once killed.

The officer, Col. Ali Esmaelzadeh, died a couple of week after some other high-ranking officer in the similar unit, Col. Sayad Khodayee, was once killed in a drive-by capturing in Tehran.

Their deaths come amid a brand new wave of heightened tensions between Iran and Israel, which for years have carried out a clandestine warfare of sabotage and focused killings.

Each officials had been high-ranking individuals of an elite secret detachment of the Islamic Modern Guards Pressure, Unit 840, which Israeli officers say is tasked with killing foreigners in another country.

Iran blamed Israel for the killing of Colonel Khodayee, the deputy commander of the unit, and Israel told American officials that it was behind the killing, in step with an intelligence reputable briefed at the communications.

However two senior Israeli protection officers mentioned Friday that Israel didn’t kill Colonel Esmaelzadeh. The officers spoke at the situation of anonymity as a result of they weren’t approved to talk at the document.

The dying of Colonel Esmaelzadeh was once first reported Thursday via the Saudi-financed, London-based Persian tv channel Iran Global. The file, bringing up nameless resources in Iran, mentioned that Modern Guards officers suspected Colonel Esmaelzadeh of spying for Israel and staged his suicide.

The New York Occasions may now not check that declare, and Iranian and Israeli officers declined to remark. One reputable Iranian information outlet mentioned that file was once false.

However Iranian information media have presented conflicting studies on Colonel Esmaelzadeh’s dying.

Sabreen News, an outlet affiliated with the Quds Forces, reported Thursday that Colonel Esmaelzadeh died after falling off the balcony of his house in Karaj, Iran, below “suspicious instances.” The file mentioned that investigations had been underway.

Iran’s reputable information company, IRNA, mentioned that Colonel Esmaelzadeh had died after “an coincidence” at his condo, and denied that he were killed.

A information platform at the Telegram app affiliated with the Guards, Ammariyon, first of all reported that the colonel were assassinated, then deleted the file and mentioned he had dedicated suicide via leaping off the balcony.

The Tasnim information company, additionally affiliated with the Guards, reported Friday that Colonel Esmaelzadeh had fallen off the balcony as it didn’t have suitable guard rails, and that the coroner’s administrative center had showed the reason for dying.

There have been different extraordinary instances surrounding his dying that raised pink flags for some Iranians.

Colonel Esmaelzadeh was once a high-ranking officer in an elite unit, however Iranian information media didn’t file the dying for over per week, till the London-based Iran Global did.

The Modern Guards have now not issued a remark or presented public condolences to the circle of relatives, usual process for a fallen officer.

The funeral was once held below a media blackout in a faraway village in his local province of Hamedan, in step with fliers for the development posted on social media — now not, as could be normal, at Tehran’s primary cemetery with information protection and officers in attendance.

For 3 days after Colonel Esmaelzadeh’s dying, safety guards swarmed his group in Karaj, in step with an Iranian reporter who was once there and requested to not be known.

The confusion has led some Iranians, together with conservatives, to query the competing narratives.

“Who had the ability to hold out the killing of Colonel Esmaelzadeh and why?” tweeted Attaollah Husseini, a conservative veteran of the defense force.

“It’s not possible for IRGC individuals, who’re at the trail of martyrdom all their lives, to dedicate suicide,” tweeted Abbas Qaidari, a researcher on Iran protection coverage in Toronto. He added that if the Guards had been suspicious of somebody, they’d arrest and interrogate him. “The clues are in different places,” he mentioned.

The deaths of the 2 officials of Unit 840 weren’t the one murky deaths in Iran previously two weeks. On Would possibly 25, a drone attack broken an army web site outdoor Tehran the place Iran develops missile, nuclear and drone era, and killed a Protection Ministry engineer.

There was once no declare of duty for the assault, nevertheless it have compatibility a development of earlier Israeli moves.

Iranian officers have pledged to take revenge on Israel for the killing of Colonel Khodayee final month, prompting Israel to warn its electorate from touring to international locations within the area the place Iran will have operatives.

Top Minister Naftali Bennett of Israel mentioned in a speech on Sunday that Iran had performed terrorism thru proxies towards Israel for years however that “the technology of immunity for the Iranian regime is over.”

Iran’s deputy international minister, Ali Bagheri Kani, shot again on Friday, telling a reporter in Norway, “The Zionists would possibly most effective be capable to dream of hanging Iran — and if that occurs, it’s going to be a dream from which they’re going to by no means get up.”

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