A colonel of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was assassinated in a gun attack in the capital Tehran on Sunday, the IRGC said in a statement carried by state media.
The IRGC statement identified the victim as Colonel Sayad Khodaei and blamed “anti-revolution (groups) and agents of global arrogance” for his killing. Iran uses the term “anti-revolution” to describe anti-regime opposition groups, and “global arrogance” to refer to the US and its allies.
Khodaei was assassinated around 4 p.m. local time by two motorcyclists who fired five bullets at him near his house, the semi-official Fars news agency said.
Iranian state media described Khodaei as a “shrine defender,” a term Tehran uses to refer to fighters it dispatches to Syria to fight alongside forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Around the same time it announced Khodaei’s assassination, the IRGC said in a seperate statement it had arrested a “network of thugs related to [Israel’s] intelligence service.” Iran, which does not recognize Israel, has in the past accused it of carrying out assassinations on Iranian soil.