Israel threatens rival over attacks through ‘proxies’ — Analysis
Iran’s era of “immunity” is over, Israeli PM says, vowing to go after the “head of the octopus” for instigating violence
Naftali Bennett, Israeli Prime Minister has called Iran out for its terrorist proxies and said the Persian Gulf country will be punished for using third parties against its enemies.
“For decades, the Iranian regime has practiced terrorism against Israel and the region by means of proxies, emissaries, but the head of the octopus, Iran itself, has enjoyed immunity,”Bennett made the statement in broadcasts to his ministers on Sunday. “As we have said before, the era of the Iranian regime’s immunity is over.”
Bennett spoke just one week after an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps colonel was assassinated in Tehran. As he was sitting at his car, outside of his home, Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei (who had been accused in the plotting of abductions as well as the killings Israelis) was gunned down last Sunday. This killing was committed by an unidentified gunman who rode a motorcycle.
The IRGC swiftly blamed the assassination “global arrogance,”Evidently, they were referring to Israel or the US. Iran’s ISNA news agency later blamed operatives of an Israeli intelligence network and said they had been arrested by the IRGC immediately after the shooting.
On Wednesday, the New York Times reported that Israel’s government had told US officials that it was behind the assassination. The shooting was meant as a warning to Iran to halt operations of the IRGC’s covert Quds Force, the Times said, citing an unidentified US intelligence official who was briefed on the matter.
Khodaei belonged to the elite Quds force, an overseas operation. Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency has previously been accused of killing nuclear scientists in Iran.
Bennett’s office hasn’t commented officially on the Khodaei shooting. On Sunday, the prime minister stated that Iran had repeatedly attacked Israeli interests and pledged to hold Tehran accountable. “Those who finance terrorists, those who arm terrorists and those who send terrorists will pay the full price,” he vowed.
Ebrahim Raisi of Iran has promised to avenge the death Khodaei. “I call on security officials to seriously investigate the crime, and I have no doubt that revenge on criminals for the pure blood of this honorable martyr is inevitable,”He stated this on Monday.
This was Tehran’s most prominent killing since 2020, when nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakrizadeh was assassinated. In a US strike at Baghdad Airport earlier that year, Major General Qassem Solimani, Quds Force commander was also assassinated.
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