Iran Says Israel Killed Nuclear Scientist with Satellite-Controlled Weapon

Vehicles drive by a billboard in honour of slain nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh in the Iranian capital Tehran, on November 30, 2020. - Iran laid to rest a nuclear scientist in a funeral befitting a top "martyr", vowing to redouble his work after an assassination pinned on arch-foe Israel. Fakhrizadeh …
ATTA KENARE/AFP via Getty

The assassination of Iran’s nuclear weapons mastermind Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on Friday was carried out using an Israeli-made munition controlled by satellite, Iranian news sites reported Monday citing top officials.

Speaking at Fakhrizadeh’s funeral, the secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani said Israeli remote-control “electronic devices” killed the scientist.

After the funeral, the regime’s English-language Press TV reported a weapon uncovered at the scene of the attack outside of Tehran bored “the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry.”

The Al Alam news site, another state-run outlet, cited an anonymous source as saying there was proof that Israel was behind the killing.

Shamkhani also told state TV Iran’s enemies had attempted “a number of failed operations” against Fakhrizadeh in the past.

“This time, the enemy applied a completely new, professional and sophisticated method,” he said. “No individual was present at the site.”

The semi-officials Fars news site on Sunday reported the attack was carried out remotely using a machine gun that was affixed to a car.

Iran’s Judiciary Chief Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi (C) pays respects to the body of slain scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh among his family, in the capital Tehran on November 28, 2020. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, dubbed by Israel as the “father” of Iran’s nuclear programme, died on November 27 after being seriously wounded when assailants targeted his car and engaged in a gunfight with his bodyguards outside Tehran, according to Iran’s defence ministry. The assassination comes less than two months before U.S. President-elect Joe Biden is due to take office (MIZAN NEWS AGENCY/AFP via Getty Images)

According to the report, the car exploded once it had finished raining bullets on Fakhrizadeh from a distance of roughly 150 meters (500 feet).

Other outlets published entirely different descriptions of the events, saying dozens of Israeli operatives were on the ground and an explosion took place before a fire fight, which forced Fakhrizadeh’s security detail to stop the convoy.

According to an unnamed Western intelligence source who spoke to Israel’s Channel 12, Fakhrizadeh’s killing was the “pinnacle” of Israel’s long-term plans to curtail Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Fakhrizadeh was described as the “father of the Iranian bomb” in a famous 2018 presentation by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin about a raid on a Tehran warehouse in which Mossad operatives spirited half a ton of secret documents on Iran’s nuclear program out the country. During that presentation, Netanyahu said: “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh.”

On Sunday, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told the Kan public broadcaster that Fakhrizadeh’s death served the whole world.

“The assassination in Iran, whoever did it, it serves not only Israel, but the whole region and the world,” Steinitz said.

Amos Yadlin, the former head of Israeli military intelligence and the current head of the Institute for National Security Studies think tank, speculated that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s recent visit to Israel may have been connected to the killing.

“Apparently Pompeo didn’t come here to drink wine at the Psagot winery,” Yadlin quipped, referencing an unprecedented visit by the top American diplomat to an Israeli settlement.

“Whoever made this [assassination] decision knows that there are 55 more days in which the White House has someone who sees the Iranian threat the way they do… Biden is a different story,” Yadlin said.

Iran vowed to retaliate for the attack, for which it blamed Israel.

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