In Brief: Iran pledges to ‘avenge’ assassinated Revolutionary Guards colonel

IRGC Parade in Tehran. Image Credit: YPA, CC-BY 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Iran’s president Ebrahim Raisi has sworn to avenge the killing of Hassan Sayad Khodayari, a colonel in the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, in Tehran on Sunday.

Khodayari was shot five times outside his home by two assailants on motorcycles, according to Iranian state media.

Tehran has blamed the killing on “elements linked to the global arrogance” – its term for the US and its allies.

The death represents the most high-profile killing inside Iran since the November 2020 death of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.

According to reports in Israeli media, Khodayari had planned kidnappings and other attempts to attack Israeli and Jewish targets worldwide.

He reportedly acted as a “defender of the sanctuary”, a term for the IRGC’s elite Quds Force’s operations in Syria and Iraq.

There has been no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

Asked about the incident on Israel’s Channel 12 News, defence minister Benny Gantz initially refused to comment, later saying that “Israel is very strong. I’m not addressing all the various reports that appear in all sorts of places”.

The IRGC is considered a terrorist organisation in the US, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.