A senior member of the Revolutionary Guards was shot dead in front of his house in Tehran on Sunday.

Colonel Sajjad Khodai was killed in an armed attack by two motorcyclists on a street in the Iranian capital, the Revolutionary Guards said on its website.

They blamed the "terrorist" act on "elements linked to global arrogance" - a nod to the US and its allies, including Israel.

Khodai was a "defender of the sanctuary," declared the Revolutionary Guards.

This term is used for Iranians who are active on behalf of the state in Syria or Iraq.

Iran is a key ally of ruler Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

According to the official Irna news agency, Khodai was a member of the Al-Quds Forces, which are also active in Syria, and was killed by five bullets on Sunday afternoon when he was returning home.

Irna released photos showing a man slumped in the driver's seat of a white car, with blood on his shirt collar and upper right arm.

Alleged members of Mossad network arrested

Hours before the attack on Khodai, the Revolutionary Guards said they had arrested a group of "criminals linked to the Zionist regime's (Israel) intelligence agency." They worked for Israel's Mossad intelligence agency and were implicated in a number of crimes, including: "Raids, kidnappings and vandalism".

Khodai is the most prominent victim of an attack in Iran since the killing of leading nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrisadeh in November 2020. Tehran had blamed Israel for the attack on Fakhrisadeh's vehicle convoy near Tehran.

It was later said that he was Deputy Secretary of Defense.

In January 2020, Iranian general Kassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Iraq.

Soleimani had commanded the Al-Quds Brigades of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, which are responsible for foreign operations.

Israel has been considered Iran's archenemy since the Islamic revolution of 1979.

Again and again there are reports of the arrests, arrests and executions of alleged agents who are accused of cooperation with the Mossad or the US foreign intelligence service CIA.

As a rule, the Iranian information cannot be independently verified.