Senior IRGC official killed in Syria 'was no less than Mughniyah'


Hezbollah-flag-Shateri-coffin.jpg

Hezbollah's flag is draped over the coffin of General Hassan Shateri, who was killed in Syria. Image from the Fars News Agency.

On Feb. 13, press reports stated that General Hassan Shateri had been killed in Syria. The circumstances and exact date of Shateri's death are not entirely clear, however.

Iran's embassy in Beirut said that Shateri, a senior commander in Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps, had been killed by "armed terrorists" while traveling from Damascus to Beirut. Iran's Fars News Agency said that Shateri had been killed by the "Zionist regime's henchmen." The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that Syrian rebels were responsible for Shateri's death.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army claimed that Shateri did not die on Feb. 12, as many reports had suggested. According to the spokesman, Shateri had been killed in Israel's strike on a weapons convoy near the SSRC facility in Jamraya in late January.

Shateri is "the highest-ranking Iranian official killed in Syria's uprising" to date, according to the Wall Street Journal. Shateri's importance is further seen by the fact that his family was notified of his "martyrdom" by the head of Iran's Quds Force, Major General Qassem Soleimani, according to Abna News Agency. As Iranian-Israeli analyst Meir Javedanfar noted, Soleimani "does not confirm the death of any ordinary IRGC person."

Photos from Shateri's funeral in Tehran on Feb. 14 show Soleimani sobbing as well as IRGC head Mohammad Ali Jafari and Iran's Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi. Shateri's ties to Hezbollah were also apparent during the funeral, as at one point a Hezbollah flag was seen on top of his coffin.

In addition, Shateri was compared to former Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyah, who was killed in February 2008 in Damascus. Influential cleric Hojatoleslam Panahiyan said: "Shateri was no less than Mughniyah. He had a special place, in the way that he will be missed and his purity. That's all that can be said as his secret contributions cannot be mentioned." Mourners at Iran's embassy in Beirut on Feb. 14 included a number of Hezbollah officials.

Background on Hassan Shateri

Hassan Shateri, a.k.a. Hessam Khoshnevis, who was added in 2010 to the US's list of global terrorists along with three other IRGC leaders "for their roles in the IRGC-QF's support of terrorism," was a senior commander in the IRGC as well as the director of the Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon (ICRL).

According to the Treasury Department designation, Shateri provided "technical support to Hezbollah's reconstruction efforts in Lebanon and to the expansion of the terrorist group's private communications network." In addition, he was "President Ahmadinejad's personal representative in Lebanon."

A recent report in Asharq Al-Awsat gives more details on Shateri's activities in Lebanon. According to the report, Shateri was sent to Lebanon in 2006 and "controlled several funds amounting to $200 million a year used to replace Hezbollah's lost arsenal and rebuild its missile sites close to the demarcation line with Israel." Additionally, he "sat on Hezbollah's Central Command and helped shape the party's policies with advice from Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah." More importantly, Shateri helped with "the creation of an 'inner-state' in Lebanon."

In Lebanon, Shateri also reportedly had a thriving real estate company in addition to a "business empire" that included "banks, shopping malls, hotels, transport companies, radio and television networks, newspapers, and travel agencies."

The Iranian Committee for the Reconstruction of Lebanon (ICRL), which Shateri headed, was also designated in 2010 by Treasury. According to Treasury, the ICRL "was established by the Government of Iran after the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah conflict and functions as a key channel for Iran's support to Hezbollah reconstruction efforts in Lebanon." In addition, it "financed and facilitated Hezbollah's infrastructure and private communications network that enables the terrorist group to communicate securely."



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READER COMMENTS: "Senior IRGC official killed in Syria 'was no less than Mughniyah' "

Posted by Jeff Edelman at February 15, 2013 11:30 PM ET:

Was he killed by the "Zionist regime's henchmen"? Surely not. This has to be propaganda. Because to admit such is admitting much. Like infiltration. Collaboration.

Posted by Tm at February 16, 2013 12:58 AM ET:

Now we know why Israel hit that day.

Always, 20 steps ahead. I am in awe of Israeli intelligence.

Posted by mike merlo at February 16, 2013 1:01 AM ET:

excellent kill

Posted by Mike at February 16, 2013 5:53 AM ET:

Great News!!

Posted by flloyd at February 16, 2013 9:05 AM ET:

now these are the people that we should be targeting, quds has been running the terrorist show for to long,good work to who ever did this

Posted by g at February 16, 2013 9:22 AM ET:

'In Lebanon, Shateri also reportedly had a thriving real estate company in addition to a "business empire" that included "banks, shopping malls, hotels, transport companies, radio and television networks, newspapers, and travel agencies."'

He doesn't sound that pure to me. He sounds human and proves the one thing we can count on everywhere is that people will always put their self interest first. This is how it should be and democracy/capitalism channels that productively. The definition of evil is to take that right away from others, as the regime in Iran does or Sharia law anywhere.

Posted by Dani at February 16, 2013 1:32 PM ET:

Good.
Next.

Posted by blert at February 16, 2013 4:44 PM ET:

His 'ownership' of:

banks,
shopping malls,
hotels,
transport companies,
radio and television networks,
newspapers,
travel agencies

tells us that he was the head of their 'Circus.'

(John le Carré)

Every single one of those assets is part of the kit and caboodle used by the KGB/ FSB et. al. For those at the top, the entire enterprise is humorously termed a 'circus' -- as in a 'three ring circus' -- as in spy 'rings.'

The general h a d to be at the apex of Iran's clandestine network -- which is really parallel to the Hez.

The mullahs really a r e crying -- because replacing the spider at the center of the web is a tall, tall, order.

His death is as significant -- probably more so -- than OBL.

He's not a fish -- he's a b l u e w h a l e.

=========

Expect a general purging -- and mole hunt -- as Iran swings wildly off its back feet.

Posted by Dani at February 17, 2013 9:47 AM ET:

I am sure the Syrians are feeding Israel info about Iranians in Syria. Share the burden. Makes sense.

Posted by mike merlo at February 17, 2013 12:51 PM ET:

@blert
so are you possibly suggesting that the assassination of Shateri was an inside job? Based on the Byzantine Machiavellian nature of the region & its people I find such an 'action' highly plausible

Posted by blert at February 17, 2013 2:23 PM ET:

Shateri was a Spy Master -- not a military general.

In the Soviet scheme of things, spies were given military ranks. (Nazis, too.)

His status was so well hidden that America didn't get around to fingering him until 2010.

He was inserted by the Iranian top brass to clean up after the 2006 debacle in southern Lebanon.

It also appears that he was as multi-hatted as Hannibal.

[He] "sat on Hezbollah's Central Command and helped shape the party's policies with advice from Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah."

That's a nice way of putting it. While Nasrallah was 'Mr. Outside', sitting as the titular head, it had to be that the man-with-the-purse, Shateri, was calling all of the shots.

[He] "financed and facilitated Hezbollah's infrastructure and private communications network that enables the terrorist group to communicate securely."

We can take it from that blurb that Shateri not only ran their 'circus' but was the engineer-in-chief for the Hez's bunker complex in southern Lebanon. We can also assume that, like the Red Army, (during the Cold War*) land-lines have been tunneled all under the area so that Israel has no signals traffic to intercept.

Such a scheme would be entirely appropriate for Iran's static war against Iraq, twenty-five years ago. For Western military powers, such a 'retro' communications doctrine turns back the clock a full century.

*[The Soviets/ Red Army in Eastern Germany controlled -- all up -- sixty-four (64) divisions for the conquest of Western Europe. (!)

These formations constituted "The Western Direction." Another sixty-four divisions constituted "The Southwestern Direction" and which was headquartered in Kiev.

Only officers from these high commands were deemed suitable candidates for elevation to the very top of the Red Army.

Of relevance to Shateri is the Red Army's communications doctrine. The entire Western Direction was linked by land-lines -- typically buried -- and armored. It's hub was in Zossen, right next to B96.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zossen

The Zossen complex was built by Speer for Hitler. It was split into two halves: OKH and OKW. Adolf didn't want these two commands to talk to each other -- so there was, originally, only one door linking them. Everything was built underground. Even today the whole area looks bucolic.

NATO only got wise after the fall of the Iron Curtain. East German officers showed West German officers how Zossen could phone directly to all of its front-line formations. And how, a motorized division could go from the barracks to BMPs in 30 minutes, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And how, that same formation could be at the border in another 30 minutes. (No traffic helped a lot.)

Lastly, Zossen -- and its armored communications cables to the bunker -- was how and why Hitler could continue to control his armies even when Berlin was surrounded. The reason he stayed in Berlin was to stay in contact with Zossen.

You can only imagine the Russain's surprise when they stumbled onto the Zossen complex in 1945. They liked it so much that they took it over and massively expanded it over the next decades.)

The Hez is mimicking the Red Army's battle solution from generations ago.

Posted by Infidel4LIFE at February 17, 2013 3:42 PM ET:

You mess with the bull you get the horns. Good kill, solid intel, Iran is a pariah. IRGC are a terror org as well as military. Now we know why the IAF struck so hard. Its coming, the tipping point is near.

Posted by Matt at February 17, 2013 5:40 PM ET:

After Assad, Hizbullah are next. I have not forgotten about you, never far from thoughts. It is coming and they know it.

Posted by M.H at February 17, 2013 11:19 PM ET:

The July 18 bombing in Bulgaria will always have a connection to Hezbollah and Iran. It is time for Europeans to recognize that a terrorist group is using their territory for fund-raising, logistics, planing and operations. Its is time for the European Union to recognize Hezbollah as a terrorist group.

Posted by mike merlo at February 19, 2013 2:29 AM ET:

@blert
thanks for the info

Posted by blert at February 19, 2013 9:05 AM ET:

http://www.debka.com/article/22769/Iran-points-finger-at-Israel-for-IRGC-general%E2%80%99s-death-vows-revenge

^^^^^Interesting speculation about Shateri.

He was a very busy guy.

Assad is now said by the IDF as having abandoned the Golan Front -- speculated here at the LWJ some days back.

Iran is apparently trying to keep the Damascus - Beirut link wide open.

The implication being that anti-Assad elements are all too likely to cut all other routes to the coast -- and everyone sees it.

And, as speculated, the Iranians are, in fact, engaged in a mole hunt and all around security systems double check.

Posted by Mr T at February 19, 2013 5:10 PM ET:

Nasrallah is the mole. He is greedy and wants control. Go check him out but don't torture him. He can't stand pain.

Posted by SlayerMill at February 20, 2013 5:27 PM ET:

If this guy is being compared to Imad Mugniyah, he's absolutely a big fish. Anyone who doesn't understand who Mugniyah was, I recommend reading Robert Baer's book titled See No Evil. The book isn't about Mugniyah, but Baer writes about him pretty extensively. From there you'll be able to gain a better appreciation of how important Sherati was to the IRGC and Hezbollah.