Iran says ‘smart satellite-controlled machine gun’ killed top nuclear scientist

Members of Iranian forces carry the coffin of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh during a funeral ceremony in Tehran, Iran November 30, 2020. (Reuters)

SULAIMANI (ESTA) — The killing of Iran’s top nuclear scientist last month was carried out remotely with artificial intelligence and a machine gun equipped with a “satellite-controlled smart system”, Tasnim news agency quoted a senior commander as saying.

“No terrorists were present on the ground… Martyr Fakhrizadeh was driving when a weapon, using an advanced camera, zoomed in on him,” Tasnim, a semi-official agency, quoted Ali Fadavi, the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, as saying in a ceremony on Sunday.

“The machine gun was placed on a pick-up truck and was controlled by a satellite.”

Iran has blamed Israel for the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was seen by Western intelligence services as the mastermind of a covert Iranian programme to develop nuclear weapons capability. Tehran has long denied any such ambition.

Israel has neither confirmed nor denied responsibility for the killing, and one of its officials suggested that the Tasnim report of the tactics used was a face-saving gambit by Iran.

“Some 13 shots were fired at martyr Fakhrizadeh with a machine gun controlled by satellite… During the operation artificial intelligence and face recognition were used,” Fadavi said. “His wife, sitting 25 centimeters away from him in the same car, was not injured.”

In the past, however, Israel has acknowledged pursuing covert, intelligence-gathering operations against the nuclear programme of its arch-enemy.

Last week Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council of Iran, said the killing was carried out with “electronic devices” with no people on the ground.

Fakhrizadeh, identified by Israel as a prime player in what it says is a continuing Iranian quest for a nuclear weapon, was the fifth Iranian nuclear scientist killed in targeted attacks since 2010 inside Iran, and the second slaying of a high-ranking Iranian official in 2020.

(Esta Media Network/Reuters)

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