In her article “On the Assassination of an Iranian in Syria” Farideh Fardi casts doubts on the claim made by Hojatoelslam Alireza Panahian that Hassan Shateri, the assassinated Iranian official in Syria had taken part in secret activities. (This claim was made by Panahian as part of his eulogy for Shateri)
According to her article, Farideh Farhi’s doubts emerge partly from the analysis of Panahian’s Wikipedia page. According to Professor Fardi, there is nothing which proves the claim made on his Wikipedia page that he is an influential cleric. She also asks whether it “makes sense to assume” that Shateri would share his secret activities with “a Panahian-type preacher?”
There is little doubt that Wikipedia is not the most reliable place to research the past and activities of Iranian officials, especially lesser known ones.
Farideh Farhi’s research in other places on the internet whereupon she also discovered that “there is no evidence that he (Panahian) was anything but a child during the Iran-Iraq War” are also insufficient in undermining Panahian claims that Shateri had made secret contributions.
This is due to several important reasons:
1. Panahian never stated that Shateri had shared secrets with him. His only statement was that Shateri’s “secret contributions cannot be mentioned”.
2. Panahian’s claims about the secret activities of Shateri have not been refuted by any Iranian official.
3. The death of Shateri was confirmed by the head of Iran’s IRGC Quds force commander Quasem Soleymani. There is no reason to doubt his credentials or that he is involved in secret operations. Soleymani does not confirm the death of any ordinary official.
4. Ali Shirazi Ayatollah Khamenei’s representative to the Quds force has threatened Israel with revenge for the death of Shateri. The supreme leader’s representative to such a secretive and important organization does not threaten revenge for the death of any ordinary person.
Despite the fact that neither on Wikipedia nor on any other places on the internet there is any mention or proof that Panahian has been exposed to secrets or is a member of a secret services organization (nor is there any reason to believe that there would be), nevertheless, reaction of regime officials have done much to validate Panahian’s claim that Shateri had taken part in secret activities.