Sayyad Khodaei, a colonel in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ elite foreign operations squad, the Quds Force, has been shot dead by a pair of motorcycle-mounted assassins outside his home on Mojahedin-e Eslam Street in Tehran, Iranian state media reported on Sunday.
Khodaei was killed five times as he sat in his vehicle in the open. The street is considered safe and close to the Iranian parliament. His wife found his body and quickly called for an urgent police investigation.
The IRGC decried Khodaei’s murder as a “Terrifying act” and blamed “Global arrogance is linked to elements” for the crime, a reference to the US, Israel and their allies. He was described as a “Defender of the Shrines,” meaning he fought with the Quds Force in Syria and Iraq.
“One of the IRGC soldiers was assassinated and killed by the sworn enemy of Iran’s Holy System.,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said following the announcement of Khodaei’s killing.
The motive behind the attack was not yet known and no one has claimed any responsibility as of Sunday night. The attack was Tehran’s highest-profile since the assassination of Mohsen Farkhazideh, a nuclear scientist in 2020. In the same year, Major General Qassem, Quds Force commander, was killed in an attack by US aircraft at Baghdad Airport. Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (deputy commander, Popular Mobilization Forces) in Iraq also died in that strike.
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While the IRGC and Ministry of Intelligence reportedly arrested members of an Israeli intelligence network on Sunday, releasing a statement claiming the agents “A network of thugs attempted to steal, destroy and kidnap personal and public property and get fake confessions.,” no evidence has been produced linking the two incidents. Israel is refusing to comment.
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