High-ranking Iranian civilian dies of heart disease at age 65

Tehran, Iran (AP) -A senior general of Iran’s security agencies has died, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps announced on Sunday.

Brig. General Mohammad Hosseinza de Hejaji, who died at the age of 65, served as a unit of Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard Corps, or Deputy Commander of Jerusalem. The unit was an elite and influential group overseeing foreign operations, and Hejaj helped lead the expeditionary force, making frequent round trips between Iraq, Lebanon and Syria.

Born in Isfahan in 1956, Hejaji joined the guards after the 1979 Isfahan Revolution and began to lead the paramilitary Basij Volunteer Corps for 10 years. This term saw the military transform into a pillar of national security and political system.

Hejazi became Deputy Commander of the Quds Force last April after leading a paramilitary army of the Guard in Lebanon. Iranian media reported that he had joined forces in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

According to Guard’s statement, he died of heart disease, but details have not been disclosed.