Iran claims Revolutionary Guard general 'accidentally' shot himself in the head and died
Yesterday, the Iranian government told the world that one of its veteran senior generals, General Ghodratollah Mansouri, a regional commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard (IRG) in the important city of Mashhad, had died of an accident that supposedly happened while he was cleaning his gun. So far as I have been able to discover using a couple of search engines, this claim has been reported without skepticism or comment by the world's leading news agencies and outlets. Even Israeli outlets.
Here is the tweet by which Iran made this claim:
I am sorry, but I do not take anything the government of Iran claims at face value. For one thing, how likely is it that a general cleans his own firearm? Okay, maybe he is a firearms enthusiast and treasures his weapons. But if that is the case, how on Earth would he miss the fact that the gun was loaded?
Yes, it is possible he died as claimed, but if that is so, he was a pretty reckless general.
Iran's go-to culprit always is Israel when unpleasant facts need to be explained. I suppose it is possible that Israel decided to expend the resources to take out the general, though in the past Israel has focused more on nuclear scientists and the like, who pose an existential threat. Not senior commanders of the IRG. The IRG has regularly been employed against dissident demonstrators, and, as its name indicates, it is a guardian of the revolution's leadership.
My guess is that if this story of a gun-cleaning accident is as bogus as it sounds to me, it may indicate that the revolutionary fervor among ordinary Iranians has risen to the point where assassinations of members of the repressive apparatus of the regime are being carried out. That would be far more serious a threat to the mullahs than an Israeli operation.