Iranian official who died in an Israeli airstrike on April 1 helped plan the Oct. 7 slaughter of 1,200 Israelis: Report

News & Politics

The Iranian general who was killed by an Israeli airstrike that prompted Iran to retaliate over the weekend was the nation’s go-to person on Hamas’ October 7 attack on the Jewish state. Around 1,200 Israelis were slaughtered in early October, and another 250 were abducted and taken back to Gaza.

The New York Post reported that the Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces — an organization with close links to Iranian leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei — gave praise to Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi following his death for his “strategic role in forming and strengthening the resistance front as well as in planning and executing the Al-Aqsa Storm.”

The Al-Aqsa Storm refers to the October 7 attack.

Iran International reported that the group’s description of the dead officer on April 3, just two days after he was killed, marked 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.”

The U.S.-based Middle East Media Research Institute stated the following: “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 development is significant, given that Khamenei said on October 10 that Iran didn’t have any involvement in the October attacks. However, the Wall Street Journal reported just one day later that Tehran had inside knowledge of the attacks, even if they did not have a direct part in them.

Commentators in Tehran urged Iran to make a restrained response to Israel’s airstrike on Monday, suggesting that it could be a ploy by Israel to draw Iran into a direct conflict.

Heshmatollah Falahatpisheh, a commentator and former head of the Iranian parliament’s foreign policy committee, said: “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.”

It is not clear if Israel did, in fact, use the airstrike as a ploy to draw Iran into a direct conflict.

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