Iran’s top nuclear scientist was killed by a satellite-controlled machine gun, according to the country’s media.
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh died in hospital on 27 November after gunmen fired at his car near Tehran, 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 artificial intelligence to target Martyr Fakhrizadeh.”
He said that the gun fired 13 shots at Mr Fakhrizadeh but was so accurate that the scientist’s wife, who was sitting in the same car, was not injured.
“The gun was focused only on Martyr Fakhrizadeh, and his wife was not shot, despite being a few centimetres away,” he said.
“The head of the protection team was also shot four times because he threw himself on Fakhrizadeh, and no enemy was on the scene to shoot the guards.”
Iran’s Press TV reported the IRGC’s Brigadier General Ramezan Sharif confirming: “Advanced electronic instruments guided by satellite were used in the assassination of Martyr Fakhrizadeh.”
The brigadier was speaking at a commemoration ceremony for the scientist on Sunday and blamed “Zionists” for the attack, saying they are “well aware their measures will not go unanswered and this issue has been proven to them in the past”.
Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has already called for the “definitive punishment” of those behind the assassination.
Israel has long alleged that Mr Fakhrizadeh had led a military nuclear programme in the early 2000s but it has neither confirmed or denied any involvement in his death.
Israel has put its embassies on high alert and has warned that Israeli targets abroad could come under attack by Iran.