A senior Iranian official vowed Saturday to take revenge on Israel for its alleged involvement in the killing of a senior commander in Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guard, the semi-official ISNA news agency reported.
The Guard has accused “mercenaries and supporters” of Israel being responsible for Wednesday’s killing of Gen. Hassan Shateri on the road linking Damascus to Beirut.
Ali Shirazi, representative of Iran’s supreme leader to the Guard, said Israel would soon pay the price for Shateri’s killing.
Israel has not commented on the killing.
An Iranian independent news website reported early Thursday morning that Gen. Hassan Shateri was killed by “mercenaries of the Zionist regime,” but provided no details about his death. The semi-official Fars news agency confirmed the report a few hours later.
Shateri led Guard forces in Lebanon and oversaw Iranian-financed reconstruction projects there, aiding Hezbollah both financially and by training its members. It is unclear what he was doing in Syria.
A second senior Iranian official was reported killed Wednesday in an attack on his car after he crossed from Syria into Lebanon.
The man, Hossam Khosh Newes, was killed by “armed terrorist groups” — a blanket term that Syria and Iran use to designate opposition forces — the Iranian Embassy was quoted in The New York Times as saying.
It wasn’t immediately clear whether Newes was traveling with Shateri at the time of the attack, and whether the two incidents were related.
Tehran is a close Syrian ally. It counts on Syria as a bridge to Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah militant group.