Iran’s top nuclear scientist was assassinated by gunfire from a satellite-controlled machine gun mounted on an exploded booby-trapped truck, it is said.
Astonishing new claims about the death of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh have emerged when Iran claimed that the weapon used in the murder was made in Israel.
Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency claims that the first gunfire came from a remote-controlled machine gun mounted on a Nissan truck that had a self-destruct mechanism and exploded.
The Arabic language Al Alam TV reported that the weapons used in the murder of Fakhrizadeh were being monitored “by satellite”.
It is alleged that the target, believed to be the ‘father’ of the Iranian nuclear weapons program, was towed from his car and shot to make sure he was dead in a three-minute operation involving 12 highly trained hitmen. including snipers. on the lurk.
The killers are said to have been part of a 62-strong group of conspirators who helped orchestrate the daylight attack in Absard, 50 miles east of Tehran last Friday.
Iran continued to swear revenge on Monday when a funeral was held in the capital for Fakhrizadeh, head of Iran’s Defense Ministry Research and Innovation Organization.
A US official and two other intelligence officials told the New York Times that Israel was behind the attack.
Fakhrizadeh, believed to be 59 years old, and his wife were in a convoy of cars when they were ambushed by 12 hit men on a road in the rural town of Absard.
Iranian journalist Mohamad Ahwaze, who claims to have received leaked information from the country’s government and Revolutionary Guard Corps, revealed details of the scientist’s murder.
In a series of tweets, the journalist claimed the hitmen knew Fakhrizadeh would drive from Tehran to Absard – a weekend destination for the wealthy where the 59-year-old had a villa – and planned the attack for a roundabout.
The 12 killers were deployed to Absard, while 50 others supported them with logistics, Ahwaze claimed.
The journalist alleged that all members of the team that committed the murder had received special training and were involved with security and intelligence services abroad.
According to leaked Iranian data, the murder team used a Hyundai Santa Fe, a Nissan and four motorcycles to carry out the murder.
They were waiting for Fakhrizadeh at the scene of the ambush, Ahwaze wrote.
There was also a Nissan pick-up with booby traps on site.
About half an hour before Fakhrizadeh’s convoy of three bulletproof cars arrived, electricity was cut in the area.
As the third vehicle passed, the Nissan detonated.
The second car, containing Fakhrizadeh, was then sprayed with bullets by the 12 hit men, including two snipers.
Ahwaze tweeted: “According to Iranian leaks, the leader of the assassination team pulled Fakhrizadeh from his car and shot him and caused him to be killed.”
Fars news agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guard, claimed that Fakhrizadeh got out of his car believing he had hit an object on the road or had an engine problem.
Witnesses told state television on Friday that there were shooters on foot.
Ahwaze said the hitmen had escaped and the scientist’s protection team was then transported to hospitals in Tehran.
According to state media, Fakhrizadeh died in hospital after being seriously injured.
None of the 12 hit men were injured or arrested, Ahzawe added.
In the aftermath, photos appeared of the wreckage of the scientist’s bullet-riddled, darkened vehicle, traveling in a convoy with three other vehicles.
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Iran’s English-language press TV said on Monday that the weapon used in the murder of a prominent Iranian nuclear scientist last week was made in Israel.
“The weapon collected at the site of the terrorist attack (where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was murdered) bears the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry,” an unnamed source told Press TV.
In Jerusalem, there was no immediate response from Israeli officials contacted for comment on the report.
Israeli intelligence minister Eli Cohen said before the press release to radio station 103 FM on Monday that he did not know who was responsible.
When asked about possible Iranian reprisals, Cohen added, “We have regional intelligence domination, and on this issue we are prepared, we are increasing vigilance where it is needed.”
Fakhrizadeh, who was little known in Iran but was named by Israel as a protagonist in what it says is Iran’s nuclear weapons search, survived an assassination attempt in 2008 when motorcycle hitmen attached explosives to his car.
Iran began the funeral of Fakhrizadeh in a cemetery in northern Tehran on Monday, state television reported, when the defense minister promised the Islamic Republic would retaliate for his murder.
Iran’s spiritual and military rulers have blamed Iran’s longtime enemy, Israel, for the assassination of Fakhrizadeh, raising the threat of renewed confrontation with the West and Israel in the remaining weeks of Donald Trump’s presidency.
Harsh newspaper Kayhan, whose editor-in-chief has been appointed by supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called on Iran to attack the port city of Haifa if an Israeli role in the assassination of Fakhrizadeh is proven.
However, Iran’s rulers are aware of the enormous military and political difficulties in attacking Israel.
Such an attack would also complicate any attempt by US President-elect Joe Biden to revive detente with Tehran after he took office on January 20.
Tensions between Tehran and Washington have increased since 2018, when Trump halted Iran’s six-power nuclear deal in 2015 and re-imposed sanctions that paralyzed Iran’s economy.
In retaliation, Tehran gradually broke the deal’s restrictions on its nuclear program. Biden has said he will return the United States to the deal if Iran resumes compliance.
Tehran has always denied seeking nuclear weapons.
Fakhrizadeh’s assassination comes 11 months after top Revolutionary Guard general Qassem Soleimani was killed in a US drone strike in Baghdad.
The Trump administration claimed Soleimani had carried out mastermind attacks by Iran-linked militias on US forces in the Middle East.