Two Iranian aerospace engineers who died last weekend were involved in developing weapons for Lebanon’s Iranian proxy, the Hezbollah terrorist organization, according to a report Tuesday by the UK-based Iran International opposition group.
The two officers, both members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Aerospace Force, died in separate locations in two separate incidents. It is still not clear how they died.
“The source emphasized their role in developing weapons for… Hezbollah, which poses a serious threat to Israel with a large arsenal of missiles provided by Iran,” the news outlet wrote.
The IRGC aerospace force is tasked with Iran’s missile development and space program, including the long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles with which the Islamic Republic has in the past threatened to attack Israel and the United States.
Iran International quoted an unidentified source that said Ali Kamani and Mohammad Abdous “were not killed in accidents,” however. The country’s defense ministry had referred to both men as “martyrs” and emphasized they died “in the line of duty.”
Iranian media said Kamani had died in car accident “in the line of duty” in the central Iranian city of Khomein.
Within hours a second announcement was made, saying Abdus — employed at the Semnan Air Defense Base — had likewise died “in the line of duty” in the province, where Iran’s space launch center is also located.
Last Monday the death of Iranian scientist Kamran Mollapour, a geologist reportedly working at the Natanz nuclear plant in central Iran, was reported by The New York Times.
No Iranian official, state media or source mentioned the death, according to Iran International.
Iranian Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, acting commander of the IRGC’s elite Quds Unit 840, was shot and killed on May 22 while in his car in front of his home in Tehran.
Shortly after, IRGC media confirmed the death of Colonel Ali Esmailzadeh – also from the Quds Force unit that allegedly oversees terrorist operations abroad – saying he died “in an incident in recent days” at his home.
Sources told Iran International that Esmailzadeh, a close associate of Kodaei, was killed by the IRGC, which suspected him of passing information about him.
One day later, Iranian aerospace scientist Ayoub Entezari was reported dead of “food poisoning.” Entezari held a PhD in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Despite claims of “food poisoning,” however, the Yazd provincial governor-general, gave Entezari’s family a certificate confirming his “martyrdom,” meaning he died “in the line of duty.”
IRGC Chief Commander Hossein Salami warned last month that the Revolutionary Guards will avenge the deaths of its members.
Israel’s defense establishment is closely monitoring Iran’s official threats for revenge.
The National Security Council raised the alert in Istanbul to its highest level, warning Israelis not to travel to Turkey, and to leave if they are already there. The NSC also raised its alert and security was beefed up in all Israeli institutions around the world.