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Iran Holds Funeral for Guards Commander Killed on Way to Beirut

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Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Iranian officials held a funeral today for a Revolutionary Guards commander who they said was killed by supporters of Israel on his way to Lebanon from Syria.

Iranian authorities held the funeral for General Hassan Shateri in a mosque in the Iranian capital, the state-run Fars news agency reported. Shateri was killed by “backers of the Zionist regime” as he travelled to Beirut from Damascus, Fars said earlier today, citing Ramezan Sharif, public relations head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Shateri headed an Iranian agency in charge of reconstructing areas of Lebanon that had been demolished during the 2006 war between the Islamic militant group Hezbollah and Israel, Sharif said, without giving details of the circumstances surrounding his death.

Iran is Syrian president Bashar al-Assad’s closest supporter and also backs Hezbollah, a major Shiite militia force and political party in Lebanon. Hezbollah, initially created with the help of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards in the 1980s, has waged several armed conflicts to end Israel’s occupation of Lebanese territory. The U.S. and Israel consider the group a terrorist organization.

Shateri’s funeral was attended by top Iranian officials including Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jafari and Ali Saeedi, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s representative to the elite force, Fars said. Shateri will be buried tomorrow in his hometown, Semnan, the state-run Press TV news channel reported.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ladane Nasseri in Dubai at lnasseri@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew J. Barden at barden@bloomberg.net

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