Iran will avenge the killing of a revolutionary guard colonel shot dead in Tehran, President Ibrahim Raisi warned on Monday.
On Sunday, assassins on a motorcycle shot Colonel Sayad Khodai five times in a car outside his home.
Iran has blamed “elements associated with global arrogance” – the term Islamic republic for its arch-enemy the United States and its US allies, including Israel.
It was the most high-profile assassination inside Iran since the assassination of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in November 2020.
Rice said: “I urge the security forces to take serious action against the perpetrators, and we have no doubt that the blood of these great martyrs will be avenged.”
“There is no doubt that global arrogance can be seen in this crime,” he added, echoing the guards’ demands, before leaving for Oman where he would meet Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.
A memorial service was scheduled for Monday at 5 pm (1230 GMT) local time in Tehran.
The Janazah will be held at 8:00 a.m. (0330 GMT) on Tuesday in Imam Hussein Square in central Tehran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps said in a statement.
The ideological branch of Iran’s military, the Guards, described Khodai as a “guardian of the sanctuary”, a term used to describe those who work for Iran in Syria or Iraq.
Iran has maintained significant political influence in both countries and has supported the government of President Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.
State television noted that Khodai was “familiar” in Syria, where Iran has admitted to deploying “military advisers.”
According to the state news agency IRNA, Khodai was shot five times while returning home around 4pm on Sunday.
The agency released photos showing a man lying in the driver’s seat of a white car, the collar of his blue shirt and blood on his right hand. He was fastened with his seat belt, and the front window of the passenger’s side was shot out.
The Fars news agency reported that the state prosecutor had visited the scene of the murder and ordered the “immediate identification and arrest of the authors of this criminal act.”
The Guardian says Iran has told its enemy, Israel, that it has arrested a number of thugs “involved in the Zionist regime’s intelligence service.”
A statement said the suspects were involved in multiple crimes, including “robbery, kidnapping and vandalism.”
“The scale of the killings is being investigated,” said General Abolfazl Shakarji, a spokesman for the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Khodaiye’s assassination comes as talks between Iran and world powers to restore the 2015 nuclear deal stalled 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.
The 2015 agreement eased sanctions on Iran in exchange for halting its nuclear program to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear bomb – something they do not always want to do.
But after US President Donald Trump unilaterally withdrew from the nuclear deal in 2018 and reimposed economic sanctions on Tehran, Iran was hung up with a thread to begin backtracking on its own promises.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and was published from a syndicated feed.)