Israel has blamed the United States for killing a colonel in Iran’s Revolutionary Guards last week, the New York Times reported Wednesday.
Colonel Saad Khodai was shot dead by a gunman on the back of a motorcycle while sitting in a car outside his home in Tehran on Sunday.
Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi has vowed to avenge the assassination, and Revolutionary Guards have blamed it on “elements of global arrogance” – the United States and its allies, including Israel.
On Wednesday, the Times reported that “an intelligence officer briefed on the communications, Israel informed American officials that he was behind the killings.”
The source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the Times that Israeli officials had told U.S. officials that the killing was intended as a warning to Iran to suspend the activities of a secret group within the Quds Force – the Revolutionary Guard’s foreign operations arm, Iran’s ideological army.
Iran’s state broadcaster described Khodai as a member of the Quds Force.
It had previously reported that the colonel was “familiar” with Syria, where Iran had supported the government during the 11-year civil war and where it had admitted to deploying “military advisers”.
Thousands of people attended a funeral procession in central Tehran on Tuesday.
Funeral prayers were led by the capital’s top imam, and the coffin was engraved with Iranian flags. The poster called him a “martyr.”
Khodaiyeh’s assassination comes at a time when talks are under way between Iran and world powers to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, which has been on hold since March.
One of the key sticking points is Tehran’s demand for the removal of the guards from the US terrorism list – a request Washington has rejected.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)