1014 GMT May 13, 2021
Deputy chief of the Quds Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps General Mohammad Hejazi passed away after years of suffering from the effects of chemical weapons used during the Iraqi war of the 1980s on Iran.
“This honorable martyr had been exposed to chemical agents during the Sacred Defense and had been suffering from the effects. He also contracted the coronavirus a few months ago, from which he recovered,” said IRGC spokesman Ramazan Sharif Monday.
"A medical commission that formed yesterday at Baqiyatallah Hospital identified the cause of the martyrdom as the chemical effects," he added, Press TV reported.
In a statement on Sunday evening, the IRGC said that Gen. Hejazi had achieved the high degree of martyrdom and "joined the ranks of martyrs after years of tireless and sincere efforts in various fields to protect the Islamic Revolution and serve the establishment and the Islamic homeland”.
Gen. Hejazi, 65, was a veteran of the Iraqi war under former dictator Saddam Hussein on Iran, which lasted eight years. After the war, he served as the commander of Iran’s Basij volunteer force for 10 years and as the deputy commander of the IRGC for a year.
He was named the deputy commander of the IRGC Quds Force after the former prominent commander of the force, Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimani, was assassinated in a US airstrike in Baghdad in January 2020. He replaced Brigadier General Esmaeil Qa'ani, who was named the new commander of the force.
In the statement, the IRGC congratulated the Commander-in-Chief of the Iranian Armed Forces Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, the Iranian nation, General Hejazi’s family, his comrades in the IRGC and the Basij volunteer force, and fighters of the Resistance Front over his glorious martyrdom, but also extended its condolences on the loss.
Ayatollah Khamenei also expressed his condolences to Gen. Hejazi’s family, relatives and friends, saying the deceased led a life of tireless efforts and had a “creative intellect” and a “heart full of sincere faith”.
He was “full of motivation and determination, a force completely devoted to Islam and the Revolution,” the Leader wrote in a message.
“He served in major and influential positions in the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps and emerged with his head held high and successful in all of them,” the he said. “His absence is truly a source of regret and sorrow.”
Gen. Hejazi’s passing also prompted outpourings of condolences from top Iranian authorities and commanders, including President Hassan Rouhani, Judiciary Chief Ebrahim Raeisi, Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Baqer Qalibaf, Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif.
Rouhani said Hejazi devoted his whole life to serving the Iranian nation and the values of the Islamic Revolution.
Raeisi praised Hejazi as a “sincere and faithful commander” who put great efforts to help the Islamic Resistance Front.
“In addition to playing a role in the victory of the revolution, commanding during the Sacred Defense (Iran-Iraq war) era and organizing the Basij force, General Hejazi was a ‘shining star of the Axis of Resistance,’” Qalibaf wrote in his message.
The secretary-general of Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement also expressed his condolences in a message to Ayatollah Khamenei as well as in two separate messages to IRGC Chief Major General Hossein Salami and Brigadier General Qa'ani.
“We are very saddened to hear of the passing of General Hejazi, and that while he was at the peak of his jihad and also when the Axis of Resistance needed his blessed presence,” read Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s letter.
"He was a great brother, a strong and self-sacrificing supporter, a moral example, and an experienced and intellectual person," the letter added.