WARNING: Graphic Images
On April 27, 2019, Behrouz Hajilou, a 46-year-old former Qods Force officer, killed a Shi’a cleric in Hamedan. Hajilou, who had reportedly fought in Syria from 2014 to 2016, had been posting photos and videos of himself on Instagram for about a year, speaking violently against the Khomeiniist regime while brandishing his AK-47 assault rifle.
Behrooz Hajiloo, ex-#IRGC Quds Force officer who fought against #ISIL in #Syria has now turned into an anti-#Iran‘s Islamic Regime vigilante! He killed M. Ghasemi, representative of #Khamenei in Hamedan few days ago. He has called Iranians to kill Ayatollahs all over the country! pic.twitter.com/ySocSwjSlz
— Babak Taghvaee (@BabakTaghvaee) April 27, 2019
The cleric, 46-year-old Hojatoleslam Mostafa Qassemi, was the imam of Haj Karbali mosque in Hamedan. According to various accounts, he was also the representative of regime leader Ali Khamenei in that city. Persian-language media reported that as Qassemi was exiting the mosque that afternoon, when two men wearing paramilitary fatigues approached him, asked if he was Qassemi, and after he responded yes, shot him twice in the back.
Shortly afterwards, Hajilou posted a video on Instagram taking responsibility for the murder. Appearing with him in the video were several men whom he identified as other former IRGC officers, whom he said were also going to assassinate more Mullahs. He also called on soldiers throughout Iran to rise up against the Islamic regime.
Police immediately began searching for Hajilou, arresting several of his relatives. At 4:30AM on the morning of the 28th, they caught up with him in Kurdistan province’s Ghorveh county; there, Hajilou was killed after a firefight, during which he injured two police officers. The police claimed he was attempting to flee to Iraq.
After Hajilou’s death, the regime-run media immediately began to paint him as just a thug and criminal, not mentioning one word about his service in the IRGC, or the political motivation behind his action. The police also claimed that he was a “lone wolf,” despite his assertion that he was a part of a network of ex-IRGC members who had turned on the Islamic regime.
Ali Khamenei briefly commented on the incident on Sunday, saying that “the police must confront messages being spread in cyberspace that posed a threat to the security of the regime.”
Iran has been in economic and political turmoil for 18 months, with massive protests and labour strikes against the regime. Iranian opposition leaders abroad, such as Reza Pahlavi, have called on IRGC personnel to abandon the regime. There have been unconfirmed rumors that elements within the IRGC and Basij have begun to fear the worsening situation, which could lead to them turning on their masters. Last week, an IRGC General, Ali Nasiri, had fled to a Persian Gulf country where he was going to defect. Unconfirmed reports however claim that Nasiri, was forced to return to Iran as his wife and children’s lives had been threatened by IRGC brass.
Only time will tell whether or not the case of Behrouz Hajilou was an isolated one, or if more IRGC personnel will follow his example.
Updated on Monday, April 29th:
— ?شاهرخ? (@Siamaktehrani16) April 29, 2019
The above video which was recorded and posted on Twitter, by a friend of Behrouz Hajilou today, provides the reason for why Hajilou was driven to decisive action against the Mullahs. According to the friend’s video statement, following the appearance of Hashd al Shaabi, the Khomeiniist-funded Shia Iraqi terrorist group, under the guise of providing assistance to Iranian flood victims, a Mullah began posting a call out to his fellow clerics on his Instagram page, asking them to encourage Iranian widows and single girls to marry Hashd al Shaabi terrorists, claiming that even if they do a temporary marriage lasting one day, it would be ‘religiously righteous’ and charity that will equal 100 years of prayer. Hajilou, who knew better, is said to have become so incensed by the suggestion of handing Iranian women to these men in such a way, that he felt that he had to act. Mostafa Qassemi was among the group of Mullahs, in Hajilou’s neighborhood, who was actively pushing this agenda.