Alon Ushpiz
Alon Ushpiz Ilana Lank

Foreign Ministry Director General Alon Ushpiz said on Thursday that the United States should provide explanations for the leaks to the media regarding messages conveyed from Israel to the Americans regarding the elimination of a senior Revolutionary Guards officer in Iran.

"The Americans are the ones who need to explain what happened that resulted in this being brought to the media. I am leaving the explanations to our conversations with the Americans," Ushpiz said in an interview on Reshet Bet radio.

The move should be looked at in a perspective related to contacts regarding the Iran nuclear agreement, he added.

"There is a significant decrease in the chances of returning to the agreement, and this is a fertile ground for cooperation between Israel and the Americans. Israel opposes returning to the agreement and this is our clear policy," Ushpiz said.

The New York Timesreported on Wednesday that Israel informed American officials that it was behind the killing of Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps Colonel Hassan Sayyad Khodaei.

Security officials in Israel were furious at the publication and said they were surprised by the American leak to the newspaper.

On Sunday, two motorcyclists opened fire on Khodaei, who was parked in front of his home in Tehran.

Iranian media outlets reported that Khodaei was shot five times, and that his wife found him slumped over in his car.

The IRGC denounced the assassination as a "criminal terrorist act", and claimed that it had earlier on Sunday broken up a "network of thugs linked with the Zionist regime of Israel's intelligence service".

On Monday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi vowed that his country would avenge Khodaei’s death.

Speaking to reporters ahead of a trip to Oman, Raisi called the elimination of Khodaei an act of “terrorism”, adding that Iran would take “revenge” for Khodaei’s killing.

A European security official told the Iran International website on Monday that Khodaei was responsible for recruiting operatives for terror attacks against Israelis.

The source said Khodaei had been involved in a number of terrorist operations against Israelis in three continents including Asia, Europe, and Africa. These include an attack in the capital of India, New Delhi, on February 13, 2012, in which a diplomat’s wife was wounded.