A key member of the elite Quds force in Iran who planned attacks on Israel was shot down by motorcyclists Sunday afternoon in Tehran.
Col. Hassan Khodayari, who is known to have worked for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard in Syria and was involved with plotting assaults on Israelis and Jews all over the world, was one of two senior members of Iran’s elite Qods Force killed in front of his house last week by attackers who fled.
“In Tehran, Hassan Sayad Khodayari was shot five times and murdered by two people on a motorbike.” Aditya Raj Kaul of TV 9 Middle East tweeted.
The Iranian military called it a “criminal terrorist action by the counter-revolution and other foreign arrogance-linked elements.” While they didn’t directly blame Israel, the method of operation fits that of Israel’s Mossad, according to Iranian writer Hossein Dalirian.
— Bryan E. Leib (@Bryan_E_Leib) May 22, 2022
Khodayari was ambushed and assassinated in the city of Ahvaz, Iran. According to reports, several men armed with guns opened fire on Khodayari’s car before fleeing the scene. The IRGC announced hours after the murder that it had rounded up a “mob of hoodlums” working for Israel. According to The Jerusalem Post, the IRGC alleged shortly afterward that it had arrested a large “network of thugs” connected to the Mossad.
The Times of Israel wrote that reports in Iran referred to Khodayari as a “protector of the sanctuary,” which referred to Iranians who conduct operations in Iraq and Syria for the Quds Force.
When questioned on the assassination by an Israeli television station, Defense Minister Benny Gantz refused to answer.
Khodayari was a top figure in Iran’s military sector. Khodayari was reportedly involved with the country’s drone program. The IRGC launched missiles at a location in Erbil, Iraq in March, alleging that it was used by Mossad. The strike was said to have taken place as a result of an Israeli airstrike on an IRGC drone base near Mahidasht, Iran.
Iran’s military personnel who launch attacks on Israel frequently end up dead in Tehran. In Nov. 2020, the country’s top military nuclear scientist, known as Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, was shot dead in Tehran, according to The Jerusalem Post. According to The Jewish Chronicle, he was assassinated with a “gun that weighed one-ton and was remote-controlled” that was smuggled into the Iran by the Mossad by using a secret team of over 20 Iranian and Israeli nationals.