TEHRAN ( Associated Press) — Raising their fists and chanting “Death to Israel!” thousands of mourners took to the streets of Tehran Tuesday to pay their respects to a senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards officer shot dead by two assailants. on a motorcycle this week.
The death on Sunday of Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei had all the hallmarks of previous fatal attacks in Iran attributed to Israel, such as those carried out against the country’s nuclear scientists.
No one has claimed the attack. Iranian authorities have attributed the attack to “global arrogance,” a phrase that alludes to the United States and Israel.
The funeral procession on Tuesday moved through Tehran’s main cemetery amid slogans against Israel and the United States. A poster praised Khodaei as a martyr along with General Qassem Soleimani, the Iranian general killed in a 2020 US drone strike in Iraq, and showed the torn Israeli, American and British flags.
“Iran is a victim of terrorism,” read the banner, bearing the logos of the CIA and Mossad, the Israeli espionage service.
From the funeral, the commander of the Revolutionary Guards, General Hossein Salami, promised mourners that Iran’s response to “any threat or action will be harsh and regrettable.” General Esmail Ghaani, the leader of Iran’s Quds Force, also participated and offered his condolences at Khodaei’s home on Monday night.
Iran’s nuclear negotiator visited the scene of the attack, highlighting the impact on the government. President Ebrahim Raisi promised revenge. A street in Tehran was already named in honor of Khodaei. The colonel was buried next to Soleimani’s bodyguard, who was killed along with the general in the US airstrike in Iraq.
Khodaei, 50, remains a mysterious figure and Iran has yet to offer biographical details, beyond saying he was a member of the elite Quds Force that oversees overseas operations through Iranian-allied militias in the Middle East. .