A senior member of Iran’s highly effective Revolutionary Guard was killed outdoors his dwelling in Tehran on Sunday by unidentified gunmen on a motorcycle, state TV reported.
Though the Guard gave solely scant element in regards to the assault that occurred in broad daylight within the coronary heart of Iran’s capital, the group blamed the killing on “international vanity,” sometimes code for the US and Israel.
That accusation, in addition to the type of the brazen killing, raised the opportunity of a hyperlink with different motorcycle slayings beforehand attributed to Israel in Iran, equivalent to these concentrating on the nation’s nuclear scientists. There was no rapid declare of accountability for the assault.
The 2 assailants shot Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei 5 occasions in his unarmored Iranian-made Kia Delight, state media mentioned, proper off a extremely safe avenue dwelling to Iran’s parliament.
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Experiences recognized Khodaei solely as a “defender of the shrine,” a reference to Iranians who combat in opposition to the extremist Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq inside the Guard’s elite Quds drive that oversees international operations.
Little data was publicly obtainable about Khodaei, as Quds officers are typically shadowy figures finishing up secretive army missions supporting Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, and different militias in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.
The Tehran prosecutor arrived on the crime scene inside hours of the killing to research and demanded police urgently arrest the perpetrators. The probe’s pace urged Khodaei’s prominence within the murky construction of the Guard’s abroad operations.
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These operations have come below repeated Israeli air assault in Syria. An Israeli strike close to the Syrian capital of Damascus killed two Guard members in March, prompting Iran to retaliate by firing a missile barrage into northern Iraq.
Safety forces have been pursuing the suspected assailants, state TV reported, with out providing additional particulars or giving a motive for the killing.
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Across the similar time, state-run media mentioned the Revolutionary Guard’s safety forces had uncovered and arrested members of an Israeli intelligence community working within the nation, with out elaborating on whether or not they had any connection to Khodaei’s slaying.