Senior commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards dies of ‘chemical injuries’

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Hossein Asadollahi, a senior commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), has died of “chemical injuries” from the war with Iraq in the 1980s, state media reported on Saturday.

A long-serving member of the IRGC, Asadollahi headed the 27th Mohammad Rasulullah division of the IRGC for several years.

Asadollahi had also been a key commander of Iranian forces fighting alongside the regime of Syrian president Bashar al-Assad against rebels.

Several state news agencies reported on Saturday that Asadollahi died of “chemical injuries” sustained during the eight-year-long war with Iraq (1980-1988).

Some Iranian exile run media outlets however reported that Asadollahi died of coronavirus, which has so far claimed the lives of at least 16 regime figures.

Read more: Iranian officials infected with coronavirus

It is worth noting that Iranian state media had previously also cited “chemical injuries” from the war with Iraq to be the cause behind the death of one official and the hospitalization of another.

State media said last month that lawmaker Mohammad Ali Ramezani died of “chemical injuries.” The semi-official Fars news agency reported weeks later that Ramezani died of coronavirus.

The semi-official ILNA news agency had also reported earlier this month that Industry Minister Reza Rahmani was hospitalised due to “chemical injuries,” denying reports that he had been infected with coronavirus.

As of Saturday, 1,556 in Iran have died from coronavirus, and there are 20,610 confirmed cases.

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