Iranian Report Denies General Was Wounded in Attack During Syria Visit

Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Reza Naghdi, who heads the Basij paramilitary group, survived an assassination attempt by Israel or rebel forces, Arab news outlets reported over the weekend.

Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Reza Naghdi surveying the scene in Syria.
Screenshot/Fars News Agency

Iranian media on Sunday denied reports that an Iranian general was hurt in an attack by Israeli or rebel forces while visiting Syria last week.

Arab media outlets over the weekend reported that Brig. Gen. Mohammad-Reza Naghdi, the commander of the Basij paramilitary organization, was wounded during a highly publicized visit to southern Syria, near the Israeli border.

No Syrian, Iranian or Israeli official has confirmed the reports.

"The Basij commander is fully healthy and doing his daily jobs," Iran's semi-official Fars news agency said, citing "an informed source."

"[T]he spread of such rumors is the result of the Zionists' anger after photos (that appeared on the media) showed Brigadier General Naqdi's powerful presence in Quneitra and the Golan Heights," the source reportedly told Fars.

The Basij News website published two pictures of Naghdi on Wednesday, one of which shows him surveying the scene with binoculars and the other has him inspecting destruction at sites that reports on the visit said were part of a situation assessment and inspection on the ground.

News of the incident was attributed to an item on the Basij website reporting that an Iranian officer had been wounded in the Quneitra area. It did not provide details as to his identity. It was then left to others who made a connection between the pictures of Naghdi in Quneitra and the report to conclude that it was Naghdi.