Iran’s semi-officials Fars news offered on Sunday a version of the assassination of scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh markedly different from earlier reports.
According to Fars, Fakhrizadeh, believed by Israel to have been the mastermind of Iran’s nuclear weapons program, was killed on Friday by remote control-operated machine gun, without any human agents present at the scene.
The gun was attached to a Nissan car, which blew up at the end of the deadly three-minute attack.
Fakhrizadeh was reportedly en route to the resort town of Absard, east of Tehran, when his car was ambushed. The machine gun in the Nissan opened fire on him from a distance of about 150 yards. He was evacuated to a hospital, where he was pronounce dead on arrival.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that “an old truck with explosives hidden under a load of wood blew up near a sedan carrying Fakhrizadeh.
“As Fakhrizadeh’s sedan stopped, at least five gunmen emerged and raked the car with rapid fire, the semiofficial Tasnim news agency said.”
The Sun newspaper, in the U.K., said that a hit squad of “sixty-two people plus bombs, snipers and motorbike gunmen were reportedly involved in the precisely-coordinated execution of the 59-year-old scientist as he was driven to his mountain retreat in a convoy of three bullet-proof cars.”
As Fakhrizadeh’s 3-car convoy carrying him and his security detail passed a roundabout, the Nissan exploded, causing them to stop.
Twelve assassins including two snipers then unleashed a hail of bullets on the car containing Fakhrizadeh.
There was no mention of a remote-controlled machine gun.
That version was based on a post on Twitter by Mohamad Ahwaze, an Iranian journalist, in Persian.