Two IRGC Aerospace Force officers whose deaths were announced Sunday were engaged in "developing arms for Lebanon's Hezbollah," Iran International has learned.
Ali Kamani and Mohammad Abdus, both Revolutionary Guard’s aerospace engineers, "were not killed in accidents" as the Islamic Republic claimed, an informed source told Iran International on Monday.
The two died in separate incidents in two different areas, but the source did not provide further details about the circumstances of their deaths. What was clear from the information received is that the two officers did not die as a result of a car or work place accident.
It is noteworthy that the source emphasized their role in developing weapons for the militant group Hezbollah, which poses a serious threat to Israel with a large arsenal of missiles provided by Iran.
Iranian media first announced that Kamani, a relatively junior officer, died in a “car accident in line of duty” in Khomein, in central Iran.
A few hours later, news came that another aerospace Force officer had also died in the province of Semnan "on lime of duty". Iran's space launch center is located in Semnan. In the reports by the Iranian Media, he was said to be working for the Defense Ministry.
The IRGC aerospace force is tasked with Iran’s missile development and space program. The country has made considerable progress in developing long-range ballistic missiles that can threaten the far fringes of the Middle East, including Israel.
Iran's defense ministry emphasized that both officers died on line of duty and called them “martyrs” without any explanations.
A series of other killings and deaths among IRGC ranks in Iran in recent weeks has led to suspicion that they might have been targets of a secret series of operations, purportedly by Israel’s Mossad.
Considering recent killings of other Revolutionary Guard officers in Iran, some Iranians on social media drew the conclusion that the latest deaths most likely were part of a highly professional anti-IRGC operation carried out with precision.
Last Monday, an Israeli website reported the death of Iranian scientist Kamran Mollapour, who was reportedly working at Natanz nuclear facility in central Iran. This came as conflicting reports were still circulating about the death of Iranian aerospace scientist Ayoob Entezari -- who held a PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering -- with some calling it an assassination and government saying he died of food poisoning.
The governor-general's office in the central province of Yazd handed a certificate to Entezari's family confirming his "martyrdom", a label the Islamic Republic uses for people who died in the line of duty for the country.
Reports about Entezari’s fate came a day after Iran confirmed the death of a colonel from the Quds Force, Ali Esmailzadeh of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, the second in two weeks from the unit which allegedly oversees terror operations abroad.
Iranian government and IRGC media said that Col. Esmailzadeh died “in an incident in recent days” at his home without mentioning any details after Iran International quoted sources in Iran as saying that the IRGC killed him over suspicions of espionage. Officials of the Revolutionary Guard told Esmailzadeh’s family that the reason for his death was suicide.
He was a close colleague of Colonel Hassan Sayyad-Khodaei, the acting commander of the elite Qods Unit 840, who was earlier shot dead behind the wheel of his car outside his home in Tehran on May 22 by two gunmen who fled the scene on a motorbike. The sources said that the IRGC became suspicious that Esmailzadeh divulged information about his colleague and decided to eliminate him.