Rasoul Shahriari, a prominent 'maddah' or religious eulogist in Iran close to the Islamic government, was gunned down in Esfahan province by unidentified assailants.
Government media reported that the motive for the murder is unknown and is currently being investigated by intelligence agencies.
The event echoes a similar incident from the previous year when another Iranian religious singer, Habil Afaq-Azar, met a similar fate in Tabriz, East Azarbaijan province.
Afaq-Azar's lifeless body, bearing gunshot wounds, was discovered in a city neighborhood, hinting at a premeditated act. Like Afaq-Azar, Shahriari’s ties to the regime and his role in promoting its propaganda domestically and abroad raise questions about the motives behind his assassination.
Meanwhile, in recent years maddahs, once known for their poignant lamentations in cemeteries and during the mourning month of Muharram, transitioning into influential political figures in Iran's clerical regime.
Under the guise of religion, some maddahs have been involved in subversive activities, prompting neighboring countries like Azerbaijan to take action against Iranian espionage networks.
During election seasons, eulogists' associations emerge as key players in propaganda campaigns, with fees escalating based on their perceived closeness to Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.
Figures like Mahmoud Karimi, one of Tehran's wealthiest and most renowned eulogists, exemplify this trend, with their endorsements carrying substantial weight in political circles.