May 22, 2024

A senior Iranian general with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike at the beginning of April had reportedly been involved in the "planning and execution" of Hamas's Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

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A senior Iranian general with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) who was assassinated in an Israeli airstrike at the beginning of April had reportedly been involved in the “planning and execution” of Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack on Israel.

The Iranian Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces, which has ties to the “supreme leader” of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, issued a letter on April 3 showing “mourning and appreciation” for Mohammad Reza Zahedi, according to the U.S.-based Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI). This letter was translated by MEMRI.

“The strategic role of the martyr Zahedi in consolidating and strengthening the resistance front, and in the planning and execution of Al-Aqsa Flood, are part of the great pride that will transform the quiet efforts of this great commander into the eternal history of the struggle against the occupation by the Zionist regime,” the Iranian group wrote, according to the MEMRI translation.

Operation Al-Aqsa Flood is the name used to refer to Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack in which roughly 1,200 Israelis were left dead, and more than 200 people were taken as hostages.

Hostage

A woman touches photos of Israelis missing and held captive in Gaza, displayed on a wall in Tel Aviv, on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris, File)

Zahedi, who had been the IRGC’s Commander of the Quds Force’s Unit 18000, was killed on April 1, along with six other senior Iranian military officials after Israel launched an airstrike on the Iranian embassy in Damascus, Syria. Additionally, Zahedi had also previously commanded the IRGC’s Air Force and the Imam Hussein Division.

Iran launched more than 300 drones, cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles at Israel on Saturday night in retaliation for Israel’s airstrike. Israeli’s air defense systems were able to intercept the majority of them.

Khamenei previously denied that Tehran was behind Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.

“This is essentially an official admission by a senior Iranian regime figure that Iran did indeed have a hand in the planning and execution of the October 7 attack,” MEMRI wrote.