File photo of Iran’s Red Crescent relief workers

Body Of Missing Cleric Found In Iran, Amid Wave Of Attacks On Clergy

Friday, 05/05/2023

The body of a missing cleric has been found in northern Iran.

Ebrahim Fazel had gone missing on Tuesday as he had traveled from the religious city of Qom – where he was studying at the seminary – to his hometown in the northern province. His body was found from the coastal waters near the city of Jouybar

Hailing from a well-known family, he was the son of the founder of Mazandaran province’s Islamic seminary Mohammad Fazel and the grandson of one the late prominent Shia clerics in Iran,Ayatollah Mohammad Kouhestani. He was also the brother-in-law of hardliner lawmaker Mahmoud Nabavian.

Circumstances around the death remain unclear, evidence unable to determine if his body was thrown into water or he drowned.

An official of the province’s governor’s office claimed he was last seen while shopping for a swimming suit. However, he may be covering up the fact that members of clergy have increasingly become targets of attacks by Iranians who see them as symbolizing the nation’s problems.

Late in April, media close to the Revolutionary Guard reported that two clerics were targeted by a driver in the religious city of Qom after another similar attack a few days earlier. It was the third attack on clerics within a few days. Tehran police announced on April 27 that a manhunt was underway to find another driver in the attempted murder of a cleric in the capital.

Since the 1979 revolution, the clergy have gained increasing power, but discontent has risen in recent years, particularly amid waves of protests over economic, political, and civil rights issues.

More News