Israel warns citizens not to travel to Turkey following Iran assassination

Tehran has vowed retaliation after Revolutionary Guard colonel shot dead at wheel of his car last week

Iranian women lift portraits of Col Hassan Sayad Khodai during his funeral in Tehran. AFP
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Israel has warned its citizens not to travel to Turkey over Iranian threats of revenge after an Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps colonel was assassinated last week.

The IRGC's commander in chief, Brig Gen Hossein Salami, said on Monday that the group will avenge assassinations of its members, Iran's Irna news agency reported.

Iran has blamed Israel for the killing of Col Hassan Sayad Khodai, who was shot dead at the wheel of his car by two people on a motorcycle, and has vowed retaliation.

Israel's National Security Council said on Monday that Iran could be looking to harm Israelis in Turkey and classified it as a “high-risk country”.

Turkey is a popular tourist destination for Israelis. The two countries have been mending their ties after more than a decade of strained relations.

Brig Gen Salami made his vow while paying a visit to Khodai’s family on Monday, calling revenge “the people's demand”.

He said Khodai’s killing had earned him “global fame” and he was now “universally cherished” after living as an “unknown IRGC member”.

“The foes chased him door-to-door from the heart of the White House and Tel Aviv for years until they martyred him in a corner in Tehran,” he said, according to Irna.

Last week, Israel accused Khodai of plotting attacks against its citizens worldwide.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's office, which oversees intelligence agency Mossad, declined to comment on the assassination.

But Mr Bennett said Tehran would “pay the full price” for instigating attacks on Israelis through its proxies.

He accusing Iran's rulers of failing to “improve the lives of the Iranian people”, using deadly force against protesters and misleading the International Atomic Energy Agency.

Bennett says Iran's 'immunity is over'

“For decades, the Iranian regime has practised terrorism against Israel and the region by means of proxies, emissaries, but the head of the octopus, Iran itself, has enjoyed immunity,” he said on Sunday.

“As we have said before, the era of the Iranian regime's immunity is over.

“Those who finance terrorists, those who arm terrorists and those who send terrorists will pay the full price.”

Israel has in the past issued travel warnings to several countries in the Middle East and across the globe over the threat posed by Iran.

Updated: May 30, 2022, 11:13 AM