Iranian authorities announced on Tuesday the arrest of several suspects they claim were involved in the killing of high-profile Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, who was targeted by two gunmen on a motorcycle outside his Tehran home in May.
“Several people have been arrested in the case of the assassination of martyr Khodaei,” Iran’s judiciary spokesman Masoud Setayeshi said in a news conference, with Iranian authorities adding that the case was still being investigated.
Khodaei was believed to be the deputy commander of the Iranian Quds Force’s secretive Unit 840 – the elite branch of the IRGC tasked with extraterritorial operations, including covert abductions and killings of Israelis and other foreigners around the world.
Following Khodaei’s assassination, a New York Times report quoted an unnamed intelligence official saying that Israel had informed American officials it was responsible for the kill. The official reportedly stated that the killing was a warning from Jerusalem meant to stop the Unit’s plots and activities against foreigners.
Israeli officials reportedly told their U.S. counterparts that Iran’s Unit 840 had attempted attacks against Israeli, European and American civilians over the past two years, as well as government officials in Colombia, Kenya, Ethiopia, the United Arab Emirates and Cyprus.
According to the Times, Iran has never acknowledged the existence of the Unit, with the IRGC claiming Khodaei was merely a logistics expert and tactical advisor who played an important role in the transportation of ammunition to Iranian-backed fighters in Syria and to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
Nonetheless, thousands of people, including dignitaries such as Quds Force commander Gen. Esmail Ghaani, attended Khodaei’s funeral in Tehran, indicating that the slain colonel was an important contributor to the Iranian regime.
The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.