A high-ranking member of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps was killed outside his home in Tehran on Sunday, according to a statement from guards.
The statement identified the man as Colonel Sayad Khodayee and said he had spent years fighting in Syria as part of Iran’s military commitment to “defend the sanctuary” — a term Iran uses to justify its presence in the war in Syria and to identify those. fight against the Islamic State. The statement blamed the killing of foreign “terrorists” affiliated with world powers considered enemies of Iran’s Islamic revolution.
Two killers on motorcycles approached Colonel Khodayee’s car and fired five bullets, state media reported. Photos show a man in the driver’s seat wearing a seat belt, bleeding from gunshot wounds and slumped behind the wheel of an Iranian-made Kia Pride. According to reports, his wife was the first person to find his body.
Security forces are hunting the killers who escaped, state media reported. The Tehran prosecutor arrived on the scene shortly after the attack. The murder took place in daylight on a secured street near the Iranian parliament, according to The Associated Press.
The assassination comes at a time when the Iran nuclear deal is stalling because the United States has labeled the Guards a terrorist group. Iran has demanded that the terrorist designation be removed as a condition of reviving the deal, and Washington has so far refused.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the murder. But his style echoed previous attacks in Iran by Israel.
In November 2020, a top Iranian scientist, Mohsen Fakrizadeh, was murdered while traveling in a car outside Tehran. A US official and two other intelligence officials later said Israel was behind the murder of Mr Fakrizadeh, who died after a pickup truck loaded with explosives detonated in front of his car, which was then sprayed with bullets. The assassination was one in a 2010 series targeting Iranian nuclear scientists that Iran has blamed on Israel.
In August 2020, Al Qaeda Deputy Commander Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah was shot and killed by Israeli agents on a motorcycle in Tehran.