Hassan Sayyad Khodayari was a colonel in the Quds Force, the Guard’s foreign arm, with accusations leveled at Israeli and American intelligence.
At least six Iranian scientists and academics have been killed or attacked since 2010, several by assailants riding motorcycles, in incidents believed to have targeted Iran’s nuclear programme, which the West says is aimed at producing a bomb.
Sanam Vakil, deputy head of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House, said Khodai’s assassination was meant to unsettle Tehran as tensions escalate with its arch-enemy Israel over Iran’s nuclear programme.
In a separate development, Iran’s state TV earlier announced that members of an Israeli intelligence network had been found and arrested by the IRGC.
“Under the guidance of the Zionist regime’s intelligence service, the network attempted to steal and destroy personal and public property, kidnapping and obtaining fabricated confessions through a network of thugs,” the IRGC public relations service said in a statement.
In April, Iran’s intelligence ministry said it arrested three Mossad spies, according to a statement published by the semi-official Fars news agency.