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Israel Raises Alert after Assassination of Senior IRGC Officer

May 24, 2022

by: Ilse Strauss

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Was Israel behind the assassination of a chief IRGC officer on Sunday?

Tuesday, 24 May 2022 | Israel is reportedly on high alert after a high-ranking Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer was assassinated on Sunday in one of the most secure areas in Tehran in what Israeli media called a carefully coordinated operation.

Fearing revenge attacks from Iran for the death of Colonel Hassan Sayyad Kodayari, an elite officer in the IRGC’s shadowy elite Quds Force, the Jewish state apparently raised the security alert level at international embassies and consulates. Jerusalem also prepared for the possibility of assaults on Jewish targets abroad as well as strikes from Syria or Lebanon.

The mullahs in Tehran have not officially accused Israel for killing Kodayari. And the powers-that-be in Jerusalem have offered no official comment on the hit. So, if Iran doesn’t officially blame Israel and Israel didn’t officially own up to the assassination, why the heightened security?

Kodayari was driving near his home in one of the most secure areas in Tehran—Mohahedin-e Eslam Street, home to other senior officials in the IRGC and Quds Force—when two gunmen on a motorcycle approached his vehicle and fired five bullets at him from a point-blank range using a silenced weapon before speeding off. Kodayari was killed instantly.

The gunmen have since disappeared into thin air, prompting a massive manhunt to find the men who shot to death a senior member of the high-profile IRGC on his own street.

For one thing, the style of the attack links Sunday’s hit to previous assassinations of other high-ranking Iranian officials, most notably Iran’s top nuclear scientist and father of its nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which Tehran blamed on Israel. In fact, the hit on Kodayari was the most high-profile strike in Iran since Fakhrizadeh’s death in November 2020.

And although the mullahs have not pointed a finger at Israel outright, there are hints to whom Tehran holds responsible. The IRGC blamed the killing on “global arrogance,” code for the United States and Israel. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi echoed the accusation, attributing Kodayari’s death to “elements linked to the global arrogance.”

Moreover, according to unsourced media reports in Hebrew media, intelligence points to a foreign body behind such a brazen strike on such a high-profile Quds Force target in the heart of Iran, which again raises the possibility of the United States and Israel.

Then there’s motive. Unsourced Israeli and international reports identify Kodayari as the mastermind behind a number of planned kidnappings and other attempts to attack Israeli and Jewish targets internationally.

According to Iranian opposition media outlet Iran International, Kodayari coordinated a series of attacks on Israeli officials in a number of countries in 2012, including a car bomb targeting an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi, which injured the envoy’s wife, and a string of failed bombings in Thailand the next day set to murder Israeli officials.

If the report is true and if Israel is behind Kodayari’s death, surely it’s a bit late in the game for payback for the 2012 attacks. The implication? If Israel ordered the hit and pulled the trigger, chances are Kodayari was working on something big, something aimed at hitting Israel hard.

Channel 13 news reported that Mansour Rasouli—a member of the IRGC who confessed during an interrogation that he was ordered to assassinate, among others, an Israeli diplomat in Turkey—worked under Kodayari’s command.

Channel 12 news said that Kodayari orchestrated an Iranian scheme to lure Israeli academics, businesspeople and former defense officials abroad with promises of business deals and academic conferences and then possibly kidnap them.

The exact details of what that something big entails may just go to Kodayari’s grave with him, together with the identity—and nationality—of the gunmen who shot him and the true motive behind his death. Israel isn’t about to divulge anything, and this time even Iran is remaining mum.

Meanwhile, the mullahs have pledged bloody payback—as they always do. In the past, the revenge came in the form of token attacks that failed to inflict any real damage but allowed the Iranian powers-that-be to save face among their people. Whether this time’s retribution will follow the same pattern is anybody’s guess. The same goes for whether Iran actually blames Israel and is merely playing its cards close to its chest. Regardless, Jerusalem is not taking any chances.

Posted on May 24, 2022

Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 24, 2022)

Photo Credit: jorono/pixabay.com

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