A senior Iranian engineer has died under unclear circumstances, an Iranian website reported on Saturday, following two other mysterious deaths of senior Iranian military officials in the last fortnight.
According to the report, Ayoob Entezari held a PhD in aerospace engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. He took part in several projects at the Institute of Technology in the city of Yazd, and was considered one of the top scientists in his field.
It was also reported that Entezari specialized in drone and missile development, and according to some reports he died of food poisoning.
Last week, The New York Times reported that an Iranian engineer was killed and another person injured in a drone attack on a military base near Tehran.
Earlier, Iran's Defense Ministry reported the event at the Parchin complex as an "accident" at a research unit, and identified the engineer as Ehsun Ghadbeigi. A later statement from the same ministry said, as per the New York Times report, that they viewed the event as an attack.
Revolutionary Guards members killed
On Friday, Iran reported the death of a colonel of the elite Quds force of its Revolutionary Guards, the second colonel reported dead in the last two weeks. Both hailed from the unit which oversees Iran's military operations abroad.
Quoting an unknown official on Friday, the early morning report by the official IRNA news agency said Col. Ali Esmailzadeh had died during an “incident in his residence” days ago in city of Karaj, some 35 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the capital Tehran.
It did not elaborate but denied reports that the colonel was assassinated.
A week earlier, Iran's state Tasnim news agency reported that a senior member of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, was assassinated by two motorcyclists in Tehran.
Tasnim said he was assassinated while sitting in his car in front of his house. Two assailants reportedly shot the victim five times.
Khodaei was likely behind a series of plots against Israeli businesspeople and diplomats in various countries over the past few months.
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Earlier reports identified the target as a “defender of the shrine,” a reference to Iranians who fight against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq within the Guards' elite Quds force, which oversees operations abroad.
Although the Guards gave only scant detail about the attack that occurred in broad daylight in the heart of Iran's capital, the group blamed the killing on “global arrogance,” typically code for the United States and Israel.
Most of the assassinations of Iranian figures attributed to Israel up until now have been of experts involved in Iran's nuclear program.