(The Post Millennial) – Iranian media is now reporting that the nuclear scientist who was assassinated last week was killed without any human agents involved, Times of Israel reports.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Brigadier General in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard and allegedly the country’s top nuclear scientist, was assassinated on Friday by unknown actors. His assassination sent shockwaves through the Iranian leadership, with leaders both expressing outrage and attempting to pin the blame on foreign enemies, particularly the United States and Israel.
“Mr. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a prominent nuclear and defense scientist of the country, was martyred by criminal and cruel mercenaries,” Iranian Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in a statement. “The unique scientific figure gave his dear and precious soul in the way of God for his great and lasting scientific efforts, and the high position of martyrdom is his divine reward.”
According to Iranian press, Fakhrizadeh’s assassination took place while he was on his way to the Iranian resort town of Absard, 70 kilometers east of Tehran, the nation’s capital. The assassination began when Fakhrizadeh’s security detail travelled ahead of his car to inspect the location.
Once his security detail left, bullets were fired at Fakhrizadeh’s armoured car. Fakhrizadeh exited the vehicle, believing the attack to be some sort of problem with his car. After exiting the vehicle, Fakhrizadeh the remote-controlled machine gun allegedly opened fire from a 150 meters’ distance, with the scientist being struck by three bullets. Fakhrizadeh was taken to a nearby hospital where he and his wife were pronounced dead.
Iranian authorities reportedly tracked down the owner of the vehicle where the machine guns fired from, but the owner had left the country in October.
The description contradicts earlier reports on the assassination, which claimed that he was shot dead by armed agents after an explosion forced his moving car to a halt. The characterization of events was also disputed by security specialists, who argue that footage from the assassination indicates precision which could not be achieved via remote control.
While no motive or suspect in the assassination has been discovered, Iranian officials have accused Israel of masterminding the operation. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, speaking on the subject of the assassination, said that “relevant officials will give a response to their crime in due time, and in addition, the Iranian nation is too wise and too smart to fall into the trap of the Zionists’ plot.”
In response to the threats, Israel put their embassies around the globe on high alert. The IDF said they are prepared to respond to any aggressive actions taken against Israel but did not believe that retaliation from Iran was imminent.
Iran’s nuclear program has been a subject of intense controversy and scrutiny over the past decade, with many international observers warning that Iran is attempting to develop nuclear weapons. The Iranian government has insisted that their nuclear program is meant for peaceful purposes only.
Multiple Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated between the years of 2010-2012, with Iranian officials alleging that Israel was behind the attacks, although no evidence has been uncovered linking Israel to the assassinations. The United States assassinated Major General Qasem Soleimani of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard in January.
The Iranian government also faced a setback in their nuclear program when a centrifuge at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility burst into flames over the summer. The Iranian government said that the fire was caused by sabotage, and alleged that the attacks were probably committed by either Israel or the United States.