A member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ Quds Force involved in planning attacks on Jews and Israelis worldwide, Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari, was assassinated in Tehran on Sunday afternoon, the IRGC announced.
Khodayari operated in Syria, according to the group’s statement. Photos reportedly from the scene showed Khodayari dead in a vehicle after he was shot.
Assailants on a motorcycle shot and killed the Quds Force member in front of his home on Mojahedin Eslam Street in the capital city of Tehran, according to Iranian reports. Iranian authorities are searching for the assailants.
The IRGC called the assassination a “criminal terrorist act of the counter-revolution and elements related to global arrogance,” a term often used to refer to the US and Israel.
The Iranian Nour News Agency called the assassination a redline, saying it “changes many equations” and that those responsible would “pay a heavy price.”
Iranian military journalist Hossein Dalirian pointed a finger at the Mossad in a tweet, saying that it seemed its agents were involved in the assassination.
An Iranian security source told the Iranian news outlet Jadeh Iran that Khodayari was prominent in the country’s military industry, especially concerning drones. In March, the IRGC fired missiles at what they claimed was a site used by the Mossad in Erbil, Iraq, reportedly in response to an alleged Israeli strike on an IRGC drone base in Mahidasht, Iran.
Shortly after the assassination, in a seemingly unrelated incident, the IRGC claimed that it had arrested a “network of thugs” associated with the Mossad without providing further details.
In November 2020, Iran’s chief military nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated in Tehran in an attack Iranian officials blamed on Israel. Iran threatened to respond to the assassination at the time.
Last year, The Jewish Chronicle reported that Fakhrizadeh was assassinated with a “one-ton remote-controlled gun” that was smuggled into the country by the Mossad. The report noted that the mysterious weapon was smuggled into Iran by a team of more than 20 Israeli and Iranian nationals.
It reportedly took eight months of “painstaking surveillance” for the Mossad operatives to smuggle the mysterious weapon, which was divided into pieces, into the Muslim country, intelligence sources told the Chronicle.