Iran’s moderates and hardliners set to clash amid tanking economy and rising toll in Syria

The bearded young man looks stoically into the camera, his impassive expression betraying no fear as his captor prepares to commit a televised murder.

It is a scene horrifically familiar to anyone who was shocked by the Jihadi John videos – and Mohsen Hojaji’s murder had no less of an impact in his home country of Iran when he was murdered by Islamic State (Isil) terrorists last year.

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But for many Iranians, the 25-year-old from Isfahan in central Iran is more than just another victim of Isil.

Hojaji was a member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps fighting in Syria, and the government has used his bravery – and his portrait – to galvanise support for the country’s military embroilment that now…

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