TEHRAN: Prominent Iranian politicians and clerics led mourners at a funeral yesterday for a senior commander of the country’s powerful Revolutionary Guards who was killed this week while traveling from Syria to Lebanon, local media said.
The semiofficial Fars news agency identified the slain commander as Gen. Hassan Shateri, and said he was in charge of reconstruction projects in southern Lebanon. Shateri was killed on the road linking Damascus with Beirut on Wednesday, it said, without specifying whether the killing took place on Lebanese or Syrian soil.
Guards spokesman Gen. Ramazan Sharif was quoted as saying “mercenaries and supporters” of Israel killed Shateri. He did not elaborate.
Yesterday’s funeral service for Shateri took place at a mosque in north Tehran, and was attended by several high-ranking Iranian figures, including Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi, Guard chief Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari and the head of the Guard’s Quds Force, Gen. Ghasem Soleimani. Senior clerics, such as Ayatollah Ali Saeedi, the representative of Iran’s supreme leader in the Guards, also took part.
Footage of the service broadcast on state TV showed footage of mourners carrying aloft a coffin.
Fars said Shateri was a veteran of the 1980s Iran-Iraq war, and served in Afghanistan before going to Lebanon. He is to be buried today in his hometown of Semnan, some 150 km east of Tehran.
Lebanese news reports provided a similar account of the killing but a different name.
Al-Manar TV, which is owned by Hezbollah, identified the dead man as Houssam Khosh Nweis. The station gave no further details.