Irna

Irna

Reuters: Iran's Revolutionary Guards said on Sunday that one of its officers, Colonel Sayad Khodai, was killed in a rare assassination in Tehran.

Khodai was "one of the defenders of the shrines", the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported, referring to military personnel or advisers who Iran says fight on its behalf to protect Shi'ite sites in Iraq or Syria against groups such as Islamic State.

Two people on a motorcycle opened fire on Khodai, Tasnim reported, citing an informed source.

Iran has been sending fighters to Syria since the early stages of its civil war to support its ally, President Bashar al-Assad, against Sunni rebels.

The "defenders of the shrines" also include Afghan and Pakistani volunteers.

The Guards blamed Sunday’s killing on “anti-revolutionary” opponents of the Islamic government. The motorcycle attack was a reminder of killings of Iranian nuclear scientists which Iran has often blamed on Israel.

At least six Iranian scientists and academics have been killed or attacked since 2010, several of them by assailants riding motorcycles, in incidents believed to have targeted Iran’s disputed nuclear programme, which the West says is aimed at producing a bomb.

Iran denies this, saying its nuclear programme has peaceful purposes, and has denounced the killings of its scientists as acts of terrorism carried out by Western intelligence agencies and the Israeli Mossad. Israel has declined comment on such accusations.

Iran's semi-official ISNA news agency reported on Sunday that members of an Israeli intelligence service network had been discovered and arrested by the Revolutionary Guard Corps.

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office, which oversees Mossad, declined comment on the events in Tehran.

In April, Iran’s intelligence ministry said it had arrested three Mossad spies, according to a statement published by the semi-official Fars news agency.

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