April 9, 2024 Special Dispatch No. 11264

Close Associate Of Iranian Supreme Leader Khamenei: The IRGC Qods Force Commander For Syria And Lebanon Who Was Killed In Damascus Was Involved In Planning And Execution Of October 7 Hamas Attack

April 9, 2024
Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Palestinians | Special Dispatch No. 11264

In contradiction to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei's official denial, on October 10, 2023, that Iran was in any way involved in the October 7 attack in Israel by Hamas, its proxy in the Palestinian resistance,[1] an Iranian organization whose director is closely affiliated with Khamenei has acknowledged that Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, who was killed in the April 1, 2024 airstrike in Damascus along with six other top Iranian IRGC Qods Force officials, had "a strategic role" in "the planning and execution of Al-Aqsa Flood" – Iran's and Hamas's term for the October 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. The following MEMRI reports quote Iranian regime officials and mouthpieces about Iranian involvement:

Coalition Council Of Islamic Revolution Forces: Zahedi "Played A Strategic Role" In "The Planning And Execution Of Al-Aqsa Flood"

On April 3, the Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces, which is affiliated with the conservative ideological faction in Iran, published a notice of mourning and appreciation for IRGC Qods Force commander in Syria and Lebanon Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, known also as Hassan Mahadavi, his deputy Mohammad Hadi Rahimi, and five other senior Qods Force officials. They were were killed in the April 1 airstrike near the Iranian Embassy in Damascus that is being attributed to Israel.

The Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces is headed by Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, who is advisor to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei as well as father-in-law to Khamenei's son Mojtaba Hosseini Khamenei. He is also a member of the Expediency Council, and a former Majlis speaker. The April 3 announcement clearly indicates that Gen. Zahedi was involved in the planning and execution of the October 7 attack.

The announcement stated:

"... Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, together with his comrades, were awarded [with martyrdom] for their years of sincere struggle, and they achieved martyrdom on Lailat Al-Qadr,[2] the day of the death of the Emir of the Believers [Ali bin Abi Taleb, cousin and son-in-law of the Prophet Mohammad and the first imam in the Shi'a].

"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 [emphasis by MEMRI].

"The lethal blows struck during those days against the occupiers of Jerusalem [i.e. Israel] have led the leaders of [that] regime to the brink of helplessness and despair. The cowardly attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus is clear proof of [the truth] of this assertion. 

"The supporters [of the regime in] Tel Aviv must know that Iran's harsh and unfortunate response to this bloody crime is on its way, and it will absolutely have a divine impact on the future equations in the region.

"Again, we send blessings to and salute the souls of the seven martyrs [who died] on the way to Jerusalem, and invite the zealous men of Tehran to participate in the Qods Day march and to make a glorious showing at the funeral of these proud fighters."[3]

The seven killed in the airstrike in Damascus (Source: Mashreq, April 3, 2024)


[2] Lailat Al-Qadr ("Night of Power"), one of the last nights of the month of Ramadan, is the night on which, according to Muslim tradition, the first version of the Quran was given to the Prophet Muhammad by the Angel Jibril (Gabriel). According to the faith, Lailat Al-Qadr is the nigh when Allah sends many blessings to the believers, and the gates of heaven are open to prayers and requests.

[3] Tasnim (Iran), April 3, 2024.

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