Thursday July 07, 2022

Iran warns it will ‘avenge’ killing of Guards colonel

May 24, 2022

TEHRAN: Iran will avenge the killing of a Revolutionary Guards colonel who was shot dead in Tehran, President Ebrahim Raisi warned on Monday.

Assailants on motorcycles on Sunday hit Colonel Sayyad Khodai with five bullets as he sat in his car outside his home. Iran blamed "elements linked to the global arrogance" -- the Islamic republic’s term for its arch enemy the United States and US allies including Israel.

It was the most high-profile killing inside Iran since the November 2020 murder of top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Raisi said: "I insist on the serious pursuit (of the killers) by security officials, and I have no doubt that the blood of this great martyr will be avenged.

"There is no doubt that the hand of global arrogance can be seen in this crime," he added, echoing the Guards’ assertion, before he travelled to Oman where he was to meet Sultan Haitham bin Tariq.

A memorial service for Khodai was scheduled in Tehran at 5:00 pm local time (1230 GMT) on Monday. The funeral will take place at 8:00 am (0330 GMT) on Tuesday in Imam Hossein Square in central Tehran, the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp said in a statement. The ideological arm of Iran’s military, the Guards described Khodai as a "defender of the sanctuary", a term used for those who work on behalf of Iran in Syria or Iraq. Iran maintains significant political influence in both countries and has backed President Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria’s grinding civil war.