by: Ilse Strauss
Monday, 23 May 2022 | A high-ranking Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer was assassinated in broad daylight yesterday in the Iranian capital in what Israeli media called a carefully coordinated operation.
As Iran screams bloody revenge, the question on everyone’s mind is: did Israel order the hit and did the Mossad [Israeli intelligence agency] pull the trigger?
Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodayari was driving near his home in the heart of Tehran at approximately 16:00 yesterday when two gunmen on a motorcycle approached his vehicle and fired five bullets at him from a pointblank range using a silenced weapon before speeding off. Kodayari was killed instantly.
The gunmen on the motorcycle have since disappeared into thin air. A massive manhunt has been launched as Iranian authorities search frantically for the men who struck down a senior member of the high-profile IRGC on its own turf.
Iranian state television confirmed Kodayari’s death, showing graphic images of his body slumped over in his vehicles, but giving few other details.
Kodayari, allegedly a senior figure in the IRGC, was identified in Iran as a “defender of the sanctuary,” a term used to describe the shadowy members of the IRGC’s elite Quds Force who do Tehran’s secretive military bidding in Syria and Iraq. Little else is publically known about him as details about the Quds Force commanders are usually kept under wraps.
Nobody claimed responsibility for the hit. The IRGC, however, blamed the killing on “global arrogance,” a term Iranians use to refer to the United States and Israel.
Israel had no official response to the accusation. Asked by Channel 12 news for a comment on the Jewish state’s supposed involvement in Kodayari’s death, Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: “I’m not addressing this…The State of Israel is very strong. I’m not addressing all the various reports that appear in all sorts of places.”
However, according to unsourced reports in Israeli media, Kodayari was the mastermind behind a number of planned kidnappings and other attempts to attack Israeli and Jewish targets internationally.
Channel 13 news reported that Mansour Rasouli—a member of the IRGC who confessed to Mossad agents during an interrogation at his house in Iran that he was ordered to assassinate, among others, an Israeli diplomat in Turkey—worked under Kodayari.
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.
In the meantime, Tehran is fuming. An Iranian official said the hit crossed “the red line” and that those who pulled the trigger “will pay a heavy price.”
For his part, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed revenge. Echoing the IRGC in attributing Kodayari’s death to “elements linked to the global arrogance,” he said: “I insist on the serious pursuit (of the killers) by security officials, and I have no doubt that the blood of this great martyr will be avenged.”
While Iran blames Israel, Jerusalem is sticking to its tried-and-tested tactic of remaining mum. However, the style of the attack links it to the assassination of Iran’s top nuclear scientist and father of its nuclear program Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, which Tehran also blamed on Israel.
Posted on May 23, 2022
Source: (Bridges for Peace, May 23, 2022)
Photo Credit: Amir Pashaei/en.wikivoyage.org
Photo License: Wikivoyage
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owner. All other materials are property of Bridges for Peace. Copyright © 2022.
Website Site Design by J-Town Internet Services Ltd. - Based in Jerusalem and Serving the World.