That accusation, along with the style of the brazen attack, raised the possibility of a link to other motorcycle killings previously attributed to Israel in Iran, such as those targeting the country’s nuclear scientists.
The two assailants fired five shots at Colonel Hassan Sayad Khodayari in his unarmored Iranian-made Kia Pride, state media said, just off a heavily secured street where the Iranian parliament is located.
Reports identified Khodayari only as a ‘sanctuary defender’, a reference to Iranians fighting the extremist Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq within the elite Al-Quds Guard force which oversees operations there. ‘foreign.
Little information was publicly available about Khodayari, as Quds officers tend to be shadowy figures carrying out covert military missions supporting Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and political party, and other militias in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere. .
The Tehran prosecutor arrived at the scene of the crime hours after the murder to investigate and asked the police to arrest the perpetrators urgently. The speed of the investigation suggested Khodayari’s importance in the obscure structure of the Guard’s overseas operations.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.
Security forces were pursuing the suspected attackers, state television reported, without giving further details or giving a motive for the killing.
Around the same time, state media said Revolutionary Guard security forces had discovered and arrested members of an Israeli intelligence network operating in the country, without specifying whether they had any connection to the murder of Khodayari.