Tehran fired Hassan Sayyad Khodaei at a funeral shouting "death to America, death to Israel!" The Islamic republic cries out for revenge after the assassination of this Revolutionary Guard colonel. Two men on a motorcycle boarded the officer's car outside his home in Tehran on Sunday afternoon in broad daylight, shot him five times with a silenced weapon and fled through the vastness of the Iranian capital. . "He was assassinated by murderous terrorists," President Ebrahim Raisi denounced on national television in an intervention in which he warned that "we will have a blood revenge."
The media close to the Revolutionary Guards immediately pointed to "global arrogance" as responsible for this operation, the way they refer to the United States and Israel.
Majid Mir Ahmadi, secretary of the Security Council, said that "this is definitely an assassination carried out by the Zionist regime and the criminals must prepare for a severe slap in the face by the Islamic republic." From the Jewish State, as is usual in these cases, no one confirmed or denied this operation and Defense Minister Benny Gantz limited himself to saying that "the State of Israel is very strong."
Khodaei is not the first Iranian to be killed in attacks attributed to the Jewish state, but this killing marks a shift in targets in what Israel calls a "war between wars" (for which the Hebrew acronym is 'mabam'). The last operations of this type had targeted scientists related to the nuclear program and the last victim was Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, considered the father of the Iranian atomic program. Fakhrizadeh was riddled with bullets 60 kilometers from Tehran in November 2020. Iran also cried out for revenge at the time.
Added to the murders of scientists were different kidnappings and explosions against related facilities such as the nuclear program, but these types of attacks ceased with the arrival of Joe Biden at the White House and the restart of the dialogue to recover the nuclear agreement that Donald Trump broke.
On this occasion, the assassins targeted a high-ranking member of the Revolutionary Guard, close to the also assassinated General Qassem Suleimani, the victim of a drone attack ordered by Trump in Baghdad in January 2020. This new assassination involves "crossing a red line", according to Nour News, a website close to the Iranian High Security Council, for whom the authors "have not calculated well" and this "will change things". Until now, blows against the Revolutionary Guards had occurred in third countries such as Syria, but never in Iran itself.
In the Israeli media, Khodaei was linked to Unit 840 of the Revolutionary Guards, "responsible for preparing terrorist infrastructure and planning attacks against Western targets and opposition groups outside of Iran," according to The Jerusalem Post. According to these same sources, the murdered soldier "would probably be behind a series of plots against Israeli businessmen and diplomats in various countries in recent months." The last of them to come to light occurred in October in Cyprus and was an assassination attempt on billionaire Teddy Sagi, a businessman considered the sixth richest person in Israel, as revealed by the government. Among his actions, he was also identified as the mastermind of the assassination attempt against the Israeli Consul General in Istanbul, aborted by the Mossad.
Seth Frantzman, an analyst for this same Jerusalemite newspaper, considers that this blow against the Revolutionary Guard is "a humiliation for the Iranians since they have not even been able to defend their people in their own capital." In Frantzman's opinion, “Iran's image is now more vulnerable than before. Although the regime has gained power in Yemen, Lebanon, Iraq or Syria, at home it seems weaker.