Mystery Iranian deaths amid shadow war

Posted on June 5, 2012

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BEIRUT, Lebanon, June 4 (UPI) — At least 10 high-ranking officers in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps are reported to have died recently, apparently in violent circumstances.

But only two of the deaths have been made public, raising suspicions the officers may have been assassinated by Iran’s enemies.

The unusually large number of deaths among senior IRGC commanders followed a disclosure by Israel’s military chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, in April that covert Special Forces operations against “enemy countries” were becoming more intense.

There doesn’t appear to be any solid evidence the Israelis were involved in the deaths of the Revolutionary Guard chiefs.

But Gantz told the Yediot Ahronot daily, “You almost won’t find a point in time where something isn’t happening somewhere in the world. I’m escalating all those special operations.”

He didn’t say which countries were being targeted. But in recent years Israel has been mounting clandestine operations against Iran and its contentious nuclear program, which Israeli leaders see as an existential threat.

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