The assassination in the middle of Tehran of a senior Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) official, Hassan Hassan Sayyad Khodayari is an injury to the heart of Iran, no less.
Five shots were fired at Khodayari, who was standing in front of his house in eastern Tehran, a short distance from the secure parliament building.
This is a daring and cross-border operation, but especially a very embarrassing operation, in terms of Iran, which hurried to promise revenge and declare that it is crossing a red line. President Ebrahim Raisi promised that revenge is inevitable and Majlis, Iran’s parliament, has already announced the establishment of a commission of inquiry.
This is not the first time that Israel has eliminated senior officials who are not part of the Iranian nuclear project, according to Iranian claims.
Khodayari enlisted in the IRGC in 1987 and reached the rank of colonel (“Akid”). He was responsible, among other things, for the transfer of Iranian weapons to Syria, was very close to General Qassem Suleimani, and was responsible for the development of the unmanned aircraft and drones that Iran transferred to Syria.
Khodayari was also the deputy of Unit 840 of the Revolutionary Guards, which function is to serve as an assassination unit abroad.
Iran understands that this is a new Israeli policy that brings the war to the streets of the capital and to the entrance of the homes of senior Revolutionary Guards commanders, who are not immune even in their country
Iran believes that this is Israeli revenge on those who had targeted it when unmanned aircraft were launched from Lebanon.
Arab sources suggest that Khodayari was returned to Iran only recently after a long stay in Syria, because he may have been put in Israeli crosshairs in Syria.
His return to the homeland did not save his life.
Sources claim that it was Khodayari who sent Mansour Rasuli, an Iranian drug offender, to assassinate the Israeli consul in Istanbul. Rasuli was recently arrested and questioned by the Mossad at his home and admitted during his interrogation that he acted on behalf of the Qods Forces of the Revolutionary Guards, and eventually, it was decided to release him even though he was heard on the record admitting that he acted on behalf of Iran.
Therefore, some in Iran believe that this is Israeli revenge on those who planned to harm Israelis abroad, including the deputy commander of Unit 840 Khodayari, and it is estimated that Rasuli provided information related to Khodayari’s assassination.
For the first time in November 2020, Israel announced the existence of this unit as responsible for planning assassinations outside Iran, adding that this unit is also responsible for planting mines in the Golan Heights, on the Syrian-Israeli border.
The operation also joins an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities and the never-ending series of assassinations of nuclear scientists, including Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a senior scientist who was killed, according to various sources, by a deadly, long-range weapons system.
Israel has also acted against the Iranians in Syria, where a number of officers have been killed, and it continues to attack weapons convoys, is responsible for the mysterious explosions in Iranian energy facilities and destructive cyberattacks against nuclear facilities.
Iran now claims that “our country is the most vulnerable country in the world to terrorist acts after 35 terrorist groups have operated in our territory since the revolution began and 17,000 casualties have fallen in the campaign.”
Presumably, Khodayari was not the last.
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