Top Iranian Nuclear Scientist Was Killed by Remote-controlled Machine Gun, Report Says

The Iranian chief nuclear scientist, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, assassinated last week Friday, November 27, 2020, in Tehran, was shot by a remote-controlled machine gun operating out of another car, Iran’s Fars News Agency has stated.

According to the report, Fakhrizadeh was driving with his wife in a bullet-proof vehicle on Friday morning, accompanied by a convoy of armored cars.

At some point, the convoy drove ahead of Fakhrizadeh in order to secure the location he was headed to. Gunfire was heard, leading Fakhrizadeh to pull over by the side of the road, as he thought the car had malfunctioned. Shots were than fired from a remote-controlled machine gun that was mounted on a Nissan car stationed some 150 meters away. One of the bullets hit Fakhrizadeh in the back, the report said, adding that the car had exploded several minutes later.

“The entire incident lasted three minutes, as no assassin was present at the scene, and because the shots were fired only by automated weapons,” the report said.

Investigations have indicated the registered owner of the Nisan left Iran on Sunday, Fars reported, without citing the person’s identity.

On Monday, the day of Fakhrizadeh’s funeral, Iran’s top national security official, Ali Shamkhani, told reporters the assassination was “conducted using electronic equipment and there was nobody on the scene,” according to BBC Monitoring’s Kian Sharifi .

Iran has blamed Israel for the attack, with Shamkhani saying on Monday that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, a militant group that opposes the Iranian government, was also involved.

Another popular narrative about the killing circulating in Iranian media is that Fakhrizadeh was killed by a team of 12 assassins who were part of a 62-person hit squad.

The claim was made in a series of tweets by the prominent Iranian journalist Mohamed Ahwaze, who said information leaked to him by Iranian intelligence indicating that Fakhrizadeh was dragged out of his car by the group’s leader and shot dead.

On Friday, Mohammad Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, also blamed Israel.

“Terrorists murdered an eminent Iranian scientist today,” Zarif tweeted . “This cowardice with serious indications of Israeli role shows desperate warmongering of perpetrators.”

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