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Senior Iranian Revolutionary Guard official killed in Tehran

A senior member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps was assassinated in Tehran outside his home on Sunday, according to a statement from the Guards.

The statement identified the man as Colonel Sayad Khodayee and said he had fought for years in Syria as part of Iran’s military deployment to ‘defend the sanctuary’ – a term Iran uses to justify its presence in the war in Syria and to identify those fighting for the Islamic State. The statement blamed the assassination on foreign “terrorists” affiliated with world powers considered enemies of Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

Two assassins on motorbikes approached Colonel Khodayee’s car and fired five bullets, state media reported. Photos show a man sitting in the driver’s seat wearing a seatbelt, bleeding from gunshot wounds and slumped behind the wheel of an Iranian-made Kia Pride. Reports say his wife was the first person to find his body.

Security forces are searching for the killers, who escaped, state media reported. The Tehran prosecutor arrived at the scene shortly after the attack. The murder took place in broad daylight on a secure street near the Iranian parliament, according to the Associated Press.

The assassination comes at a time when the Iran nuclear deal has stalled because the United States has designated the Guardians a terrorist group. Iran has demanded that the terrorist designation be removed as a condition to relaunch the deal, and Washington has so far refused.

Credit… Iranian Revolutionary Guard/EPA, via Shutterstock

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the murder. But his style echoes previous attacks in Iran by Israel.

In November 2020, a leading Iranian nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakrizadeh, was assassinated while traveling by car outside Tehran. A US official and two other intelligence officials later said Israel was behind the killing of Mr Fakrizadeh, who died after a van loaded with explosives exploded in front of his car, which was then sprayed with balls. The assassination was part of a series targeting Iranian nuclear scientists dating back to 2010, which Iran has blamed on Israel.

In August 2020, Al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, was shot dead in Tehran by Israeli agents on motorcycles.

nytimes Gt

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