A satellite-guided 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 on Sunday.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was driving on a highway outside Iran’s capital Tehran with a security guard 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, even though she was only 25 centimeters (10 inches) away, was not shot,” Mehrs news agency quoted him as saying.
It was “controlled online” via a satellite and used an “advanced camera and artificial intelligence” to do the target, he added.
Fadavi said that Fakhrizadeh’s security chief fired four bullets “when he threw himself” at the researcher and that there were “no terrorists on the scene”.
Iranian authorities have accused arch-enemy Israel and the exiled opposition group People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK) of the assassination.
State-run Press-TV had previously said that “made in Israel” weapons were found at the scene.
Various stories about the scientist’s death have emerged since the attack, where the Ministry of Defense originally said he ended up in a firefight with his bodyguards, while the news agency Fars claimed that “a remote-controlled automatic machine gun” killed him without mentioning any sources.
According to Iran’s Defense Minister Amir Hatami, Fakhrizadeh was one of his deputies and led the ministry’s defense, research and innovation organization with a focus on “nuclear defense”.