By Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE/RL
Tehran Mayor Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf has joined other Iranian officials in praising Iran's missile-program architect Major General Hassan Moghadam, who was killed in the November 12 explosion at an Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) base near Tehran.
Major General Hassan Moghadam
Iranian officials have said the explosion at the IRGC depot was accidental amid speculation that Israel might have been behind the blast.
In a short note posted on Fardanews (no affiliation with RFE/RL's Radio Farda), Qalibaf wrote that Moghadam was best known to Iran's "enemies," a term Iranian officials frequently use to refer to countries such as the United States and Israel:
"Martyrdom was Hassan's right, but the news of it was shocking. It revived in my mind all the memories I have of him. On the one hand, he was used to kindness, tolerance, and forgiveness with those around him. On the other hand, his efforts and hard work had created such a fear in the heart of the enemies that until today they haven't had the courage to attack this country.
His tireless efforts gave us the honor to be able to launch a satellite into space. One day a group of 5 or 6 of us went to give a report to [Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei]. When he heard the reports, he turned to us and said, 'It has never happened for Mr. Moghadam to make me a promise and not to keep it. He has always made his promises happen in the best possible way.'
Martyr Moghadam was unknown in the Revolutionary Guard. Our enemies knew him better than our friends. He is irreplaceable."
Poster of General Hassan Tehrani Moqaddam during funeral of IRGC personnel
Copyright (c) 2011 RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036. www.rferl.org
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