Wednesday, June 29th | 30 Sivan 5782

May 22, 2022 4:23 pm

Killed Iranian Officer Was Involved in Plots Against Israeli Targets Worldwide: Reports

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

Family members of Colonel Sayad Khodayari, a member of Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, weep over his body in his car after he was reportedly shot by two assailants in Tehran, Iran, May 22, 2022. IRGC/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS

An Iranian officer who was assassinated on Sunday afternoon in Tehran was involved in planning attacks on Israeli targets worldwide, according to Israeli media reports.

Col. Hassan Sayad Khodayari, a senior member of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC), was shot five times while in a car outside his home by two gunmen on a motorcycle, Iranian state media reported. While the escaped gunmen have not been identified, the IRGC blamed the killing on “counter-revolutionaries and elements linked to global arrogance,” an apparent reference to the United States and Israel.

He was described in local reports as one of the “defenders of the shrine,” which alludes to Iranian forces who served in Syria or Iraq.

Citing Iranian sources, Israel’s Channel 12 reported that Khodayari had masterminded kidnapping and entrapment plots targeting Israelis that were previously exposed by the Shin Bet security service, as well as assassination attempts targeting Israelis in Cyprus, Turkey, and Colombia that were uncovered by Israel’s Mossad spy agency.

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Khodayari was described by Israel’s Channel 13 as a member of the IRGC’s Quds Force, which oversees operations outside Iranian territory. It was listed as a terrorist organization, along with the rest of the IRGC, by Washington in 2019.

No party has claimed responsibility for Khodayari’s killing, though the operation has drawn comparisons to others that have been attributed to Israel. Less than two years ago, al-Qaeda’s second-in-command was shot dead in his car in Tehran, by two gunmen on a motorcycle who were reportedly Israeli agents acting at the request of the US.

Also on Sunday, Iran’s ISNA media agency reported that the IRGC had uncovered and arrested an Israeli intelligence network. It is unclear if the arrests were connected to Khodayari’s killing.

When asked on Sunday about the assassination and the alleged uncovered spy ring, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz told Channel 12, “The State of Israel is strong, I don’t deal with all sorts of reports that appear in all sorts of places.”

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