Atomic physicist was killed with a remote-controlled machine gun

Iranian nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh is said to have been killed with a remote-controlled machine gun. The weapon was mounted in an abandoned vehicle, according to the Iranian news agency Fars.

Ebrahim Raisi from the Iranian leadership stands with grieving family members at the coffin of the slain nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Photo: Mizan News Agency via AP

29. nov. 2020 21:00

Last updated just now

After the attack, the vehicle was destroyed in an explosion.

Fakhrizadeh was killed on Friday in the small town of Absard, not far from Tehran. The Iranian news agency Fars published new details about the attack on Sunday, writes the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

According to the news agency, Fakhrizadeh was traveling with his wife in a bulletproof car, protected by a convoy of armed cars.

At one point, the convoy of armed vehicles drove past Fakhrizadeh to clear the place he was heading to. Iranian security forces were very well aware that the nuclear physicist could be a target for Israeli agents.

It was when he was no longer protected that the attack took place. The details have not been confirmed by other sources, but according to the news agency Fars, no perpetrators have been present.

“The whole incident lasted for three minutes,” reads the message from Fars.

Protesters in Iran’s capital Tehran hold pictures of the killed nuclear physicist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. Foto: Majid Asgaripour/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

This version of what happened differs greatly from what The New York Times describes. According to the newspaper’s sources, there was an empty car parked at the scene, a Nissan. It exploded so that a power line fell on the road.

As many as 12 armed men are said to have attacked. Some of them jumped out of a parked Hyundai Sante Fe, others came riding motorcycles.

The New York Times’ version comes from a description given by Javad Mogouyi. He is a documentary filmmaker for Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Fakhrizadeh headed the research department of the Iranian Ministry of Defense. Western intelligence agencies believe he has been central to the country’s nuclear weapons program, writes the BBC.

Designated by Israel in 2018

The nuclear physicist lived an anonymous life until 2018. Then Israel obtained thousands of documents that allegedly showed what Iran did to develop nuclear weapons before 2003.

Iranian authorities have always claimed that there is a peaceful purpose behind their nuclear work.

In the wake of this news, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference exposing Fakhrizadeh’s name and photo.

On Saturday, Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, went out and demanded harsh punishment for those behind the attack.

President Hassan Rouhani accuses Israel on his website of being behind the killing, as a “mercenary for the United States”, according to NTB. Among those who support a hard line, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh has gained martyrdom status.

Israeli authorities are suspected of killing several scientists in Iran in connection with the country’s nuclear program. Israel has not yet commented on the matter.

Since 2010, five Iranian nuclear scientists have been killed, writes The Guardian.

Fakhrizadeh was killed while driving in a bulletproof car. Foto: WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

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