Israel Told U.S. It Was Behind Iranian Colonel's Assassination, NYT Reports

The assassination of Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei was meant as a warning to Iran to stop operations of a covert unit that acts against Israelis abroad, intel official tells the New York Times

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Haaretz
A picture of Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, a member of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards is seen at his funeral ceremony, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday.
A picture of Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei, a member of Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards is seen at his funeral ceremony, in Tehran, Iran, Tuesday.Credit: WANA NEWS AGENCY/REUTERS
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Haaretz

Israel has informed American officials that it was responsible for the assassination of Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei in Tehran earlier this week, the New York Times reported on Wednesday citing an intelligence official.

According to the report, Israel said the assassination was meant as a warning to Iran to stop operations of an elite group within the Iranian Quds Force, which Col. Khodaei was the deputy commander of.

Unit 840 is tasked with carrying out attacks against foreigners aboard, including Israeli officials and civilians, according to Israeli officials.

Iran has never acknowledged the existence of the unit.

According to an Iran International report, Khodaei, a senior member of the Iran Revolutionary Guards, "was the mastermind" behind a 2012 car bombing that targeted an Israeli diplomat in New Delhi. The diplomat's wife was seriously injured.

The report also states that Khodaei was involved in a botched operation in Thailand that targeted Israeli diplomats. After the attack, three agents were arrested, including one who lost his legs in an explosion.

The killing on Sunday of Col. Hassan Sayyad Khodaei bore the hallmarks of previous deadly shooting attacks in Iran blamed on Israel, such as those targeting the country’s nuclear scientists.

The 50-year-old Khodaei remains a shadowy figure, and Iran has yet to offer biographic detail beyond saying that he was a member of the elite Quds Force that oversees operations abroad through Iran's allied militias across the Middle East.

Until now, Iranian officials have blamed “global arrogance,” which is code for the United States and Israel, for Khodaei's killing.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed revenge. A street in Tehran has already been named after the colonel.

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