Sharif, a writer and political commentator who had contributed to the monthly magazine Iran-e-Farda, was found dead in a Tehran morgue on November 24, 1998; he had been missing since November 20. Sharif reportedly died of a heart attack, but the circumstances of his death remain unclear. His death coincided with the disappearance and death of four other Iranian writers and critics in November and December. In a shocking admission in January, Iran's Intelligence Ministry announced that several rogue agents were behind "the hateful murders which took place recently." It did not specify whether Sharif was one of those murdered by intelligence agents.