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 system, Tasnim news agency quoted a senior official as saying.
Ali Hosseini Khamenei-led Iran has blamed Israel for the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was seen by the 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, but in the past has acknowledged pursuing covert, intelligence-gathering operations against the nuclear programme of its arch-enemy Iran.
The Islamic Republic has given contradictory details of Fakhrizadeh’s death whose car was ambushed on a highway near Tehran. “No terrorist was 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.”
Fadavi spoke after Iranian authorities said they had found “clues about the assassins”, though they have yet to announce any arrest. Shortly after Fakhrizadeh was killed, witnesses told state television that a truck had exploded before a group of gunmen opened fire on his car. 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.
Experts and officials said last week Fakhrizadeh’s killing exposed security gaps that suggest its security forces may have been infiltrated and that the Islamic Republic was vulnerable to further attacks