The deputy commander of Iran's elite Quds Force, which supports Tehran's proxies in the Middle East, died of a "heart condition," the Revolutionary Guards said Sunday in a statement carried by Iranian media.
The statement didn't elaborate on the circumstances of 65-year-old Mohammad Hejazi's death.
The Iranian statement attributes Hejazi with involvement in Iran's operations in Lebanon, where it assists its proxy, Hezbollah. A 2019 tweet by the Israeli military said he oversaw Iran's precision-guided missile project in the country.
Born in 1956 in the city of Isfahan, Hejazi joined the Guards after the 1979 Islamic Revolution and came to lead the paramilitary Basij volunteer corps for a decade — a tenure that saw the force transform into a pillar of the country's security and political apparatus.
Hejazi took up the position of deputy commander of the Quds Force in April of last year, in the wake of the targeted killing of top Iranian general Qassem Soleimani by the U.S. near Baghdad, after leading the Guards' paramilitary forces in Lebanon. Iranian media reported that he joined forces fighting against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
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The unit is an elite and influential group that oversees foreign operations, and Hejazi helped lead its expeditionary forces and frequently shuttled between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.