- Fakhrizadeh was killed on November 27 when traveling by car on a highway near Tehran.
- A machine-gun mounted on a Nissan pickup was “equipped with an intelligent satellite system which zoomed in on martyr Fakhrizadeh.”
- Fakhrizadeh is the fifth Iranian nuclear scientist to have been attacked within Iran in the past ten years.
The deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards says that the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the country’s main nuclear physicist, was carried out remotely with a machine gun equipped with “an intelligent satellite-controlled system.” Iran had previously claimed that Fakhrizadeh was the victim of a “complex” operation using “completely new” technology.
Fakhrizadeh was killed on November 27 when traveling by car on a highway near Tehran. Iran insists that Israel was responsible for the death of its top scientist, Fakhrizadeh, and describes a sophisticated operation with no attackers present. There were no terrorists present on the ground, says Brigadier-General Ali Fadavi.
A machine-gun mounted on a Nissan pickup was “equipped with an intelligent satellite system which zoomed in on martyr Fakhrizadeh,” and “was using artificial intelligence,” Gen. Fadavi said.
The machine-gun “focused only on martyr Fakhrizadeh’s face in a way that his wife, despite being only 25cm (10 inches) away, was not shot,” he added.
According to the head of the Revolutionary Guards, Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguard was shot four times when he threw himself at him to protect him. Gen. Fadavi does not say whether there were other victims. Fakhrizadeh is known to have been driving on a motorway in Absard, 70 km from Tehran, with a security team of eleven members of the Revolutionary Guards.
Shortly after the killing, witnesses heard on Iranian television reported the explosion of a truck and a group of men who allegedly shot at the physicist’s car. However, last week, Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, said that Fakhrizadeh was killed by “electronic devices” without attackers on the ground.
Iranian officials also say they have “clues” about the killers, but have yet to report any arrests. Without anyone claiming the attack, Iran started by accusing Israel. However, it has also pointed the finger at Mujahedin e-Khalq (People’s Combatants), the main armed opposition group to the Iranian regime, who are suspected to have “played a part” in the assassination.
Security experts now claim that this death exposed security holes that suggest the infiltration of Iranian security forces. If confirmed, this would mean that the Islamic Republic is vulnerable to further attacks.
For many years, Fakhrizadeh was considered by Western secret services to be primarily responsible for Tehran’s attempt to develop a nuclear weapon.
The physicist, who was a professor at a university in Tehran, is the fifth Iranian nuclear scientist to have been attacked within Iran in the past ten years, and the second senior official in the regime killed in 2020.
In the first days of January, Qassem Soleimani, commander of the Quds Force, an elite unit of the Revolutionary Guards, was killed in an attack in Baghdad ordered by US President Donald Trump.
After his death, Fakhrizadeh was introduced by Defense Minister Amir Hatami as his deputy minister and head of the Defense Research and Innovation Organization. According to the minister, the scientist “managed the Iranian anti-atomic defense.”