Powerful Iranian cleric killed in attack


A powerful Iranian cleric who was a member of the Assembly of Experts that selects the country’s supreme leader has been killed in an armed attack, officials said on Wednesday.

“Ayatollah Abbas Ali Soleimani was killed this morning in an armed attack… the assailant was also arrested and is now being investigated,” IRNA news agency reported, citing the political and security official for the northern Mazandaran province where the attack happened.

The attack took place in a bank in the city of Babolsar, the official said. The governor of Mazandaran province Mahmoud Hosseinipour said the attacker was a local security personnel of the bank.

“So far, our information and documents indicate that this was not a security or terrorist act,” Hosseinipour told state television.

Soleimani, 75, was previously the representative of the country’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

He had also been the imam who led the weekly Friday prayers in the cities of Kashan, in central Isfahan province, and Zahedan in the southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchistan.—AFP