Slain IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi

Iranian General Killed In Israeli Strike Was Architect Of October 7

Thursday, 04/04/2024

An ultra-conservative political group in Iran said slain IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi was involved in the planning and execution of Hamas’s deadly October 7 attack against Israel.

It is the clearest admission of Iran’s involvement in the atrocities which saw 1,200 mostly civilians murdered and over 250 taken hostage, since terror group Hamas invaded Israel on October 7.

Zahedi, along with his deputy and five other IRGC forces, were killed Monday in an Israeli airstrike against Iran's consulate building in the Syrian capital Damascus.

In a statement issued Wednesday, Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces (also known by its Persian acronym SHANA) hailed Zahedi’s “strategic role in forming and strengthening the resistance front as well as in planning and executing the Al-Aqsa Storm.”

“Axis of resistance” or “resistance front” are the terms coined and employed by the Iranian authorities to refer to Tehran’s proxies in the region, such as Hamas, Hezbollah, Hashd al-Shaabi and Yemeni Houthis.

Iran has time and again denied its involvement in the incident, saying Hamas and other Tehran-backed armed groups in the region make their own decisions and act independently.

However, the Iranian regime swiftly praised the October 7 attack and orchestrated street celebrations, with large banners hung within hours. Some view this as a potential indication that Tehran had prior knowledge of the operation, a claim reported by the WSJ.

SHANA praised Zahedi’s “great honors” in his “silent efforts” against Israel. “The supporters of Tel Aviv should know that the Islamic Republic of Iran’s harsh and regrettable response to this bloody crime is on its way and will affect the future equations of the region, God willing,” added the statement.

SHANA is headed by former Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, a figure close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. The coalition’s secretary is Parviz Sorouri, the former IRGC commander.

In the aftermath of Israel's attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus, billboards bearing the slogan "We Take Revenge" in both Hebrew and English have sprung up across the Iranian capital. The billboards, featuring images of Israeli military leaders, were placed in front of ten foreign embassies in Tehran, including those of Switzerland, Saudi Arabia, France, the UK, Germany, and Azerbaijan.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei on Tuesday vowed to "punish" Israel for the attack. The sentiment was echoed by other senior Iranian officials, including President Ebrahim Raisi and Parliament Speaker Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf, who all promised “severe” repercussions.

However, numerous commentators in Tehran urged a measured reaction to Israel's Monday strike, cautioning that it could be a ploy to draw Iran into direct conflict.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a prominent commentator and former head of the Iranian parliament's foreign policy committee, strongly indicated that the Israeli attack on the embassy was a deliberate plot to entangle Iran in a war. “We should not see the issues emotionally. I have said many times since October 7 that this is a trap for Iran. Since October 7, the trajectory of events has been a setup to drag Iran into war, and what happened was that the balance between diplomacy and the battlefield was disrupted. This imbalance gradually led Iran into a conflict that serves none of its national interests,” he pointed out.

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