Iran Revolutionary Guards general unhurt after car shot at

The attempted assassination occurred in the same province where Iran claimed on Wednesday that it had arrested three Mossad agents.

 Members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) navy participate in a joint exercise called the 'Great Prophet 17' in the southwest of Iran, in this picture obtained on December 22, 2021. (photo credit: IRGC/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS)
Members of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) navy participate in a joint exercise called the 'Great Prophet 17' in the southwest of Iran, in this picture obtained on December 22, 2021.
(photo credit: IRGC/WANA (West Asia News Agency)/Handout via REUTERS)

Gunmen opened fire on a car carrying a senior Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp commander in restive southeastern Iran early on Saturday, killing one of his bodyguards, Iranian state media reported.

Brig-Gen Hossein Almassi, an IRGC commander in Sistan-Baluchistan province, was unhurt after the attack and the attackers were arrested, the official news agency IRNA reported.

Mahmoud Absalom, the bodyguard who was killed in the attack that occurred near a checkpoint in the provincial capital Zahedan, was the son of a senior Guards commander in the region, IRNA said.

Sistan-Baluchistan province is also where Iranian intelligence claimed that it caught three Mossad spies on Wednesday.

According to the semi-official Fars News Agency, the three were involved in "disseminating classified information and documents";  IRNA reported that more information would be released at a later date.

Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, speaks during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of senior Iranian military commander Mohammad Hejazi, in Tehran, Iran April 14, 2022. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)Brigadier General Esmail Qaani, the head of the Revolutionary Guards' Quds Force, speaks during a ceremony marking the anniversary of the death of senior Iranian military commander Mohammad Hejazi, in Tehran, Iran April 14, 2022. (credit: MAJID ASGARIPOUR/WANA (WEST ASIA NEWS AGENCY) VIA REUTERS)

It is currently unclear who tried to assassinate the general and if the two incidents were related.

The predominantly Sunni Muslim Sistan-Baluchistan province near the Pakistani and Afghan border has long been plagued by unrest from both drug smuggling gangs and Sunni Islamist militants fighting the country's Shi’ite authorities.

Many of Iran's Sunnis complain of discrimination, a charge denied by the state.

In 2009, a suicide bomber killed six senior Revolutionary Guards commanders and more than 29 other people in Sistan-Baluchistan, in one of the boldest attacks on Iran's most powerful military institutions.