Iranian president: Revenge on ‘criminals’ behind death of IRGC colonel ‘inevitable’

Ebrahim Raisi, a candidate in Iran's presidential elections waves to the media after casting his vote at a polling station in Tehran, Iran Friday, June 18, 2021. Iran began voting Friday in a presidential election tipped in the favor of a hard-line protege of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, fueling public apathy and sparking calls for a boycott in the Islamic Republic. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

The targeted killing of a senior commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, will “inevitably” be avenged, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said Monday, the first time he has addressed Khodaei’s killing.

“The hand of the global arrogance is behind the act,” Raisi said, quoted in the Hezbollah-affiliated news outlet Al Mayadeen.

“Those who have lost the battle for the Temple mount are showing their desperation by carrying out the assassination,” Raisi said, implying that Israel was behind the action.

On Sunday, Iranian officials quoted Sunday by Al Jazeera said the killing had crossed a “red line.”

“On the mountains of Israel you will fall, you and all your troops and the nations with you. I will give you as food to all kinds of carrion birds and to the wild animals.” Ez. 37:4 NIV

Khodaei was killed outside his Tehran home on Sunday by gunmen on a motorbike, Iranian state TV reported. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack.

He was believed to have been involved in Iranian plots to kidnap Israeli officials that was recently unearthed by Israeli security services. He also served as the right-hand man of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, the former Quds Force chief whom the Trump administration killed in a missile strike in 2020.

According to the Iranian source quoted by Al-Jazeera, Khodaei’s killing will “change several equations,” and “those responsible will pay dearly.”

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