Propelled by equal amounts nepotism, political savvy, and steel-minded efficiency, he reached the rank of general by the young age of 49.
The public knows Zaydan as a cultivated, charming man with a weakness for beautiful women. A passionate bachelor, he has dated a long line of models, actresses and athletes to the delight of the Moroccan public.
A man of independent means, Zaydan is clearly driven by a lust for power rather than money or fame.
To his inner circle, Zaydan is recognized as aloof, ruthless and deceptive. Although he is an accomplished soldier - he led the strike team that apprehended the Mongoose in 2007 - Zaydan is well versed in political intrigue and prefers to dispatch his rivals with cunning and deception. It should be noted that there's some question whether he actually accomplished any of his alleged deeds as his own soldiers believe they are made up with his only combat experience being "enhanced interrogations.Reza Zaydan is a man who keeps his enemies close and his friends under surveillance.
A Gilded Cage
The ICA believed that General Zaydan was responsible for interrupting a convoy carrying the Swedish banker Claus Hugo Strandberg who had been convicted for fraud, stealing billions from the Moroccan people. In the wake of the escape, Strandberg took refuge in the Swedish Embassy, and it was the ICA's belief that Zaydan did this to spark nationwide protests so that he would be able to impose martial law and overthrow the Rabat government by persuading the General Staff to support a fully fledged military coup.
The ICA and Agent 47 in particular, were hired by the building contractors Hamilton-Lowe to prevent such a coup due to their large investments in the form of Government contracts.
General Reza Zaydan has his HQ in the old school close to the Swedish Embassy where the riots are taking place in protest against the escape of Claus Strandberg. He is always surrounded by elite Moroccan military personnel.
After listening to Zaydan's conversations on telephone or with one of his lieutenants, it is revealed that the ICA was right with their assumptions: Zaydan was responsible for Strandbergs liberation from his police transport, so Strandberg could flee to his native Swedish consulate where Erik Olander, Swedish consul in Morocco and member of Providence, already awaited him. The following riots in Marrakesh, triggered by Strandberg's liberation, were riled up by propaganda posters and flyers which were distributed all over the city by Zaydan's people in the name of terror organization Crystal Dawn. Zaydan wanted them to be the scapegoat for the resulting unrest; this was possible because of the unorganized structure of Crystal Dawn, as nobody would be able to prove or disprove that the elusive group was the true source of the propaganda. After triggering civil riots all over Marrakesh, Zaydan planned to use similar strategies in other Moroccan metropolises like Rabat or Casablanca to incite masses. Protesters would be infiltrated with agents provocateurs to encourage violence; these were men familiar with Crystal Dawn ideology, who would spread its slogans and catchphrases among the demonstrators. Finally, to leave behind hard evidence that this was the work of organized terrorists, the rioters would be provided with old captured insurgent weapons that could be traced back to conflict zones. With riots all over the country, Zaydan, as the highest general, would call out martial law in the name of "national security" and overthrow the Moroccan government to make himself a dictator. After reaching his goals, he and Consul Olander planned to exile Strandberg to South America, but "give him the drop" on the way, in Zaydan's words, implying that Strandberg would be eliminated in some way before reaching his destination.
- During A Gilded Cage, he places a phone call to Erik Olander and they discuss their plan to kill Strandberg by throwing him off his plane en-route to Argentina.
- Zaydan is currently dating Ellinor Westrup, a model working for IAGO. In a phone call to her friend, Westrup states her dislike of him and how she may break up with him soon.
- However, according to the prisoner in the school, Reza's last girlfriend was a model named Raquel. This may have been an earlier name for Westrup or a different model.
- Zaydan can recognize Agent 47 through all Military disguises, aside from the Prisoner's outfit.
- Zaydan is subtly hinted to be somehow connected to Dalia Margolis of IAGO, both by his raid on The Mongoose (which was made possible by Margolis' intel during her Mossad years) and his romantic links to several models.
- According to a phone call of Kong Tuo-Kwang, Zaydan provided info to him. This can be heard in A House Built on Sand. Kwang doesn't mention him as dead, proving that the mission takes place before the events of A Gilded Cage.
- His favorite food is lamb tfaya, a popular dish in Morocco.
- He is only a pawn of Providence, and he knows nothing about the inner workings or higher goals of the organization. Providence merely uses him to exercise power in this corner of the world; after his coup, they will be able to "put another pin in their map" as he puts it. He accepts this subordinate status in stride, remarking that "everyone answers to someone."