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Hezbollah founder dies of coronavirus

Ali Akbar Mokhtashampur, a Shiite cleric believed to be the founder of Hezbollah, died Monday of the coronavirus.

Mohtashampipur died at a hospital in northern Tehran after contracting COVID-19, the state-run IRNA news agency reported.

Mohtashamipour formed alliances with Muslim militant groups throughout the Middle East in the 1970s, according to the AP.

After the Islamic Revolution in the late 1970s, he played a role in founding the paramilitary revolutionary guard in Iran. With this group and his position as ambassador to Syria, he said he had deployed forces in the region and helped create Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has been identified by the United States as a terrorist organization. It acts as a political party and military wing in Lebanon.

The United States blames Hezbollah for the bombing of the US embassy in Beirut in 1

983, according to the AP, which killed 63 people.

In addition, the bombing of US naval barracks in the Lebanese capital, which killed 241 US servicemen, was attributed to Hezbollah, in addition to the subsequent attack, which killed 58 French paratroopers, the AP notes.

However, the organization and Iran have denied involvement in the incidents.

Mohtashampipur was the target of an assassination attempt in 1984, which was allegedly executed by Israel, according to a book on Israeli killings quoted by the AP.

Mohtashampipur received a book with a bomb inside, which exploded when opened. He lost his right hand and two fingers of his left hand in the accident.

Iran’s current supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, has applauded Mokhtashampur for his “revolutionary services,” according to the AP.

President Hassan Rouhani also honored Mokhtashampur, saying he had “dedicated his life to promoting the Islamic movement and realizing the ideals of the revolution.”

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