“I insist on the serious pursuit of the perpetrators of this crime by security officials, and I have no doubt that revenge for the blood of this great martyr is inevitable,” Raisi said.
By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News
Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Monday that revenge is “inevitable” for the Sunday assassination of a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) leader in Tehran.
“I insist on the serious pursuit of the perpetrators of this crime by security officials, and I have no doubt that revenge for the blood of this great martyr is inevitable,” Raisi said about the shooting death of Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, according to the state-affiliated Mehr news agency.
After motorcyclists armed with silenced weapons ambushed Khodaei in his car outside his home in the Iranian capital, the IRGC blamed “the criminal terrorist act” on “the counter-revolution and elements related to the global arrogance.” This terminology is their standard code for the United States and Israel.
Raisi repeated the claim in his statement, saying, “There is no doubt that the hand of global arrogance can be seen in this crime.”
No one has claimed responsibility for the assassination, whose method is similar to those employed in the elimination of certain Iranian nuclear scientists in the country and abroad over the last two decades.
It was the first major assassination in Iran since the head of its secret nuclear program, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was eliminated in a remotely controlled ambush in November 2020.
Iran has blamed Israel and vowed revenge after all the targeted killings.
According to the IRGC, Khodaei served in Syria, where Israel has been actively discouraging the entrenchment of an inimical Iranian presence through thousands of airstrikes at military targets and weapons shipments in recent years. Israel calls its actions the “war between the wars.”
Walla News reported that the senior commander in the Quds Force, in charge of all foreign operations of the IRGC, planned attacks on Israeli targets in Africa and South America. Channel 12 quoted unspecified reports that Khodaei was second in command of the Force’s Unit 840, whose area of expertise is devising terror operations against both Israelis and Jews around the world, according to the IDF.
Brig. Gen. (Res.) Yossi Kuperwasser, former head of the IDF’s Research Division and a senior researcher at the Jerusalem Center for Public and State Affairs, said Sunday that the assassination in broad daylight was “another blow to the prestige of the extremist Islamic regime that exposes its penetrability and inability to protect its people.”
Khodaei’s funeral is set to take place Monday afternoon in Tehran.