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Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed With One-Ton Automated Gun: Report

Iranian Nuclear Scientist Killed With One-Ton Automated Gun: Report

Citing intelligence sources, the British weekly said a team of more than 20 agents, including Israeli and Iranian nationals, carried out the ambush on scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh after eight months of surveillance.

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The Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh murdered in Tehran last November was killed by a one-ton gun smuggled into Iran in pieces by the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad, The Jewish Chronicle reported on Wednesday. 

The London-based weekly newspaper cited intelligence sources to say that a team of more than 20 agents, including Israeli and Iranian nationals, carried out the ambush on Fakhrizadeh after eight months of surveillance, Reuters reported.

Iranian media has reported that the scientist died in the hospital in November after armed assassins gunned him down in his car. Iran had pointed towards an alleged contribution of Israel in carrying out the assassination with Foreign Minister Javad Zarif writing on Twitter about “serious indications of (an) Israeli role.” Israel had however refrained from making a comment on the statement. 

On Wednesday night after the Jewish Chronicle published its report, an Israeli government spokesman responded by saying: “We never comment on such matters. There has been no change in our position.” 

Fakhrizadeh, 59, was long suspected by the West of masterminding a secret nuclear bomb programme. He had been described by Western and Israeli intelligence services for years as the mysterious leader of a covert atomic bomb programme halted in 2003, which Israel and the United States accused Tehran of trying to restore. Iran has long denied seeking to weaponise nuclear energy.

According to the Jewish Chronicle’s report, Iran has “secretly assessed that it will take six years” before a replacement for him is “fully operational” and that his death had “extended the period of time it would take Iran to achieve a bomb from about three-and-a-half months to two years.”

Giving no further details of its sourcing, the world’s oldest Jewish newspaper said the Mossad mounted the automated gun on a Nissan pickup and that “the bespoke weapon, operated remotely by agents on the ground as they observed the target, was so heavy because it included a bomb that destroyed the evidence after the killing.”

It said the attack was carried out “by Israel alone, without American involvement” but that U.S. officials were given some form of notice beforehand.

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