(TheIndependentStar.com) – Hezbollah is a Shiite political party and militant group active in Lebanon with ties to Iran. It has been linked with various terrorist activities in the past. The relationship between the organization and the US has never been cordial due to US involvement in the Middle East. Hezbollah was established in 1975 amid civil war in Lebanon.
One of the group’s founders, Ali Akbar Mohtashamipour, died from coronavirus on Monday, June 7.
Mohtashamipour was 74 years old when he died, succumbing to COVID-19 at a hospital in Tehran. He had a long history within the government and among leaders in the Middle East. He was extremely close to Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the late Supreme Leader of Iran, and had ties to Muslim militant groups across the Middle East.
He also founded the Revolutionary Guard in Iran, served as the country’s interior minister, and was a former ambassador to Syria. Recognizable by his black turban, which signified he was a direct descendant of Muhammad, Mohtashamipour was the victim of an assassination attempt that resulted in the loss of his right hand.
Hezbollah and US Relations
Hezbollah and the US government have shared a strained relationship over the years. The US has repeatedly blamed the organization for bombings and other attacks on military troops and US buildings in the Middle East, despite its leaders’ denials. After the US military killed Iranian General Qasem Soleimani in January 2020, Hezbollah released statements threatening retaliation.
However, in more recent times, there seems to be less bad blood between the two.
The Future Without Mohtashamipour
While Mohtashamipour helped create Hezbollah, he never led the group. His death is likely to have little impact on relations between the organization and the US. Recent interactions have been relatively peaceful, with leader Hassan Nasrallah showing openness to talks with the US in early May 2021. He feels dialogue with American leaders could help soothe tensions in the region.
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