Israel has blamed the killing of Iranian Colonel Syed Kodai, a senior Revolutionary Guard officer, on Iran’s ideological military, according to the New York Times on Wednesday.
Colonel Syed Kodai was shot dead by two motorcyclists as he was returning home in a car east of the Iranian capital on Sunday. Kodai received five bullets, according to the official Irna news agency.
The Iranian state television website Iribnews has identified the slain officer as a member of al-Qaeda, an elite group of revolutionary guards involved in foreign operations. The victim was identified in Syria, a war-torn country where Iran is providing military assistance to the regime of Bashar al-Assad.
“Israel has told US officials that it was behind the assassination, according to an intelligence official investigating the case,” the New York Times wrote Wednesday, quoted by AFP as saying by Agerpres.
According to an anonymous source who spoke to the US daily, Israel said the move was aimed at putting an end to the activities of a group operating within al-Qaeda’s forces.
On Monday, Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi said he would “avenge” the death of Colonel Syed Koda. “There is no doubt that the hand of world arrogance can be found in this crime,” Raisi said, referring to the United States and its allies in the official phrase of the Islamic Republic.
Burial in the “Martyrs” area
Thousands of Iranians paid their last respects to Colonel Kodai, described as a “martyr” on Tuesday. Some participants waved Shiite flags, photographs of Iranian soldiers killed in Iraq and Syria, Iran’s major influence, and photographs of militants in the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). “Death to America!” And “Death to Israel!” They occasionally screamed along the way.
At the end of the march, a billboard read “Terrible Revenge” with a portrait of General Qasim Suleimani, a former commander of al-Qaeda forces killed in the January 2020 US offensive in Baghdad.
Born in 1972 in Myane, a Turkish-speaking city in eastern Azerbaijan (northwestern Iran), Sayyid Kodai was buried in the “Martyrs’ Area” of Behesht-e-Zahra Cemetery in southern Tehran.
Iran’s interim civil servants announced on Monday that they would launch an investigation into the “exact circumstances of the Kodai massacre.”
In November 2020, another prominent Iranian figure, Mohsen Fakhrzeh, a nuclear physicist, was killed in an attack on his assassinated convoy near Tehran, for which Iran blamed Israel.
Iran considers Israel and the United States as its main adversaries. Tehran does not recognize the existence of the state of Israel, and its diplomatic relations with Washington have been severed since the 1980s.
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