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'Israel killed Iranian scientist' using 'remote-controlled machine gun': reports

Reports from Iranian news agencies on how the attack unfolded gave conflicting accounts [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 November, 2020

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An Iranian report claimed the scientist who founded the country's nuclear programme was killed by a 'remote-controlled machine gun'.
The recently assassinated Iranian top nuclear scientist was shot by a "remote-controlled machine gun" which was operated out of a nearby car, the country's semi-official Fars News Agency reported on Sunday.

A seperate report by the Associated Press on Monday cited Ali Shamkhani – secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council – accusing Israel of carrying out the 'remote' attack.

"Unfortunately, the operation was a very complicated operation and was carried out by using electronic devices," Shamkhani told state TV, according to AP. "No individual was present at the site," he said.

Shamkhani also reportedly blamed the Iranian exile group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq as well for "having a role" in the attack, without mentioning further detail.

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the head of Iran's former nuclear weapons programme, was killed outside Tehran on Friday after succumbing to wounds sustained from assailants targeting his car.

Reports from Iranian news agencies on how the attack unfolded gave conflicting accounts.

The report published by Fars News on Sunday said Fakhrizadeh exited his bulletproof car after hearing the sound of bullets hitting the car's exterior.

He was then shot at least three times by a remote-controlled machine gun which was operated from a Nissan about 150 metres from his bullet car, Fars News said.

Fakhrizadeh's bodyguard was also shot and the nearby car exploded, Fars News reported.

None of the Iranian outlets immediately provided evidence supporting their claims.

Iran's foreign ministry suspects Israel was behind the assassination and has vowed to take revenge after investigations.

Read also: Iran accuses Israel of assassinating scientist and seeking 'chaos'

Israel has increased security in its embassies and consulates, fearing an Iranian response to the assassination, but has not officially denied the allegations, maintaining its policy of not commenting on such accusations.

A senior Israeli official told NYT that the killed Iranian scientist was a menace and that the world "should thank Israel".

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