Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Photograph:( Others )
A satellite-controlled machine gun with "artificial intelligence" was used in last week's assassination of a top nuclear scientist in Iran, the deputy commander of the Revolutionary Guards told local media Sunday.
Iran's top nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed by a satellite-controlled machine gun, according to the country's state media.
Fakhrizadeh, the architect of Tehran’s nuclear strategy, was killed on a highway near the capital in a carefully planned assassination that has led to a serious escalation of tensions in the Middle East.
He died in hospital on 27 November after bullets fired at his car, in an ambush Iran's president has blamed on Israel.
Iran's semi-official Mehr news agency quoted Commodore Ali Fadavi, deputy commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as saying: "The machine gun was equipped with online control and artificial intelligence to target Martyr Fakhrizadeh."
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was driving on a highway outside Iran's capital Tehran with a security detail of 11 Guards on November 27, when the machine gun "zoomed in" on his face and fired 13 rounds, said rear-admiral Ali Fadavi.
The machine gun was mounted on a Nissan pickup and "focused only on martyr Fakhrizadeh's face in a way that his wife, despite being only 25 centimetres (10 inches) away, was not shot," Mehr news agency quoted him as saying.
Fadavi said that Fakhrizadeh's head of security took four bullets "as he threw himself" on the scientist and that there were "no terrorists at the scene".
Iran’s supreme leader has already called for the “definitive punishment” of those behind the killing of one of the country’s most senior scientists, who was identified by Israel as having headed a secret nuclear weapons programme.
(With inputs from agencies)