Hezbollah founder dies of coronavirus


Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, a Shiite cleric who is considered a founder of Hezbollah, died Monday of the coronavirus.

Mohtashamipour died at a northern Tehran hospital after becoming ill with COVID-19, according to the state-run IRNA news agency, cited by The Associated Press.

Mohtashamipour established alliances with Muslim militant groups throughout the Mideast in the 1970s, according to the AP.

Following the Islamic Revolution in the late ’70s, he played a part in founding the paramilitary Revolutionary Guard in Iran. With that group, and in his position as ambassador to Syria, he reportedly brought forces into the region and helped create Hezbollah.

Hezbollah has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. It operates as a political party and military wing in Lebanon.

The U.S. has blamed Hezbollah for the 1983 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, according to the AP, which killed 63 people.

Read More: The Hill