The attack that killed the alleged architect of Iran’s nuclear weapons program on Friday was carried out from afar using a remote-controlled machine gun attached to a car some 500 feet away, according to a leading Iranian news site.
The semi-officials Fars news site reports that the entire operationswas conducted with no human agents present at the scene whatsoever, a significantly different description of the attack than has been presented until now.
According to the outlet, the assault took place over the course of three minutes as Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a brigadier general in Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and a key figure in the country’s military research-and-development program, traveled toward the resort town of Absard, east of Tehran.
The operation kicked off when the lead car in Fakhrizadeh security detail traveled ahead to inspect the security at his destination. At that point, a number of bullets were fired at Fakhrizadeh’s armored car, prompting him to exit the vehicle as he was apparently unaware that he was under attack, thinking that the sound was caused by a collision or some problem with the car, according to Fars news.
At that point, a remote-controlled machine gun in a Nissan that had been parked some 150 meters (492 feet) away opened fire, striking Fakhrizadeh twice, once in the side and once in the back, severing his spinal cord. Fakhrizadeh’s bodyguard was also hit by the gunfire. The Nissan then exploded.
According to Fars, the owner of the Nissan left the country on November 8. It was not clear if the car was remotely controlled as well or how the car got to the area of the attack.
Fakhrizadeh was taken to a nearby hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Until now, reports from Iran indicated that the explosion occurred first, forcing Fakhrizadeh’s car to stop, and then armed agents opened fire at him and his security detail, killing them, before they fled.
— Judah Ari Gross