The site of the killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, Abzard, Iran, November 27, 2020
UPDATE, SEPT 19:
The New York Times posts an extensive article detailing how Israel assassinated top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh last November.
The article recreates the operation, the latest in a series of Israeli killing of Iranian scientists and military personnel involved in Tehran’s nuclear and missile programs.
In 2009, an Israeli hit team was compromised and aborted its attempt to kill Fakhrizadeh. More than 11 years later, Israel pursued an advanced alternative.
Iranian agents, working for Israel’s Mossad intelligence service, stationed a pickup truck on the side of the road with a sniper machine gun. An operator, more than 1,000 miles, pulled the trigger.
The Times account also confirms that the operation began with meetings in late 2019 and early 2020 between the Israelis, and US officials such as Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and CIA Director Gina Haspel.
ORIGINAL ENTRY, FEB 11: Using the Jewish Chronicle, Israeli sources have claimed their one-ton, remote-controlled gun killed top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh on November 27.
The “intelligence sources” said the gun was smuggled piece-by-piece into Iran by the Israeli intelligence service Mossad. It was mounted on a Toyota pickup truck and fired on Fakhrizadeh’s three-car convoy in Abzard, east of Tehran.
They claimed a team of more than 20 Israeli and Iranian nationals carried out the operation after eight months of surveillance.
Citing “top international intelligence sources”, the report says US officials were only given a “little clue, like checking the water temperature” before the attack.
Confirmation of Iran Account
Iranian officials initially said 12 gunmen “affiliated with Israel and the Global Arrogance“ had attacked Fakhrizadeh and his 12 bodyguards, after an explosive device was detonated to halt the three-car convoy.
They later revised the account to say a volley of shots had stopped the convoy. When Fakhrizadeh stepped outside the car to investigate the noise, he was struck by machine-gun fire.
On December 7, Revolutionary Guards Deputy Commander Ali Fadavi said a “satellite-controlled smart system…zoomed in” on Fakrizadeh’s face, and the scientist was struck by four or five bullets, including a fatal shot to his spinal cord, while his wife was unharmed “25 centimeters away”.
According to the Chronicle, “Israeli analysts” assess that Fahrizadeh’s death extends the period of time for Iran to develop a nuclear weapon, if it chose to do so, has been extended from 3 1/2 months to 2 years.
Four Iranian nuclear scientists were assassinated between 2010 and 2012, with Israel the chief suspect. In 2018, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu named Fakhrizadeh as the director of Iran’s nuclear project — “Remember that name, Fakhrizadeh” — as he accused Iran of hiding and expanding a weapons program.
Iran has suspended adherence to some provisions of the 2015 nuclear deal with the 5+1 Powers (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Russia), after the Trump Administration’s withdrawal in May 2018 and imposition of comprehensive sanctions six months later. Last month, the Islamic Republic returned to its pre-2015 enrichment of 20% uranium, which can potentially be further enhanced to military-grade 90%.
However, there is no confirmed evidence that Tehran has begun pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
However, Jacob Nagel, a former national security advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, proclaimed:
The Mossad had documents proving that Fakhrizadeh had worked on several nuclear warheads, each one able to cause five Hiroshimas.
He was serious. He still meant to do what he planned. So someone decided that he had had enough time on earth.
On Tuesday, the Israel Defense Forces said in its annual threats assessment report that Iran could develop a bomb within two years, enriching sufficient uranium within four months.