Iranian Scientist May Have Been Killed Via Satellite

Government official accuses Israel of using 'electronic devices'
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 30, 2020 7:20 AM CST
Iranian Scientist May Have Been Killed Via Satellite
This photo released by the semi-official Fars News Agency shows the scene where Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was killed in Absard, a small city just east of the capital, Tehran, Iran, Friday.   (Fars News Agency via AP)

(Newser) – A new narrative is emerging about how Iran's top nuclear scientist got gunned down last week on a stretch of road. The main story line is unchanged: Iran accuses Israel of assassinating Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, though Israel isn't saying a word about it. What's new is that the latest reports suggest the killing was a high-tech affair, not the old-school ambush as described by initial news coverage in Iran. On Monday, a top Iranian security official accused Israel of carrying out the attack with "electronic devices," reports the AP. "No individual was present at the site," Ali Shamkhani told state TV. How so? Maybe with a remote-controlled machine gun.

Various reports in Iranian news outlets, including the semi-official Fars news agency, accuse Israel of using a satellite to trigger a machine gun in a driver-less vehicle, reports the Times of Israel. After the attack, that vehicle then exploded in an apparent bid to hide evidence, according to these accounts. Iran's State TV reported Monday that some type of weapon collected at the scene points to Israel's military. "Could you set up a weapon with a camera which then has a feed that uses an open satellite communications line back to the controller?” asks Jeremy Binnie of Jane's Defence Weekly. "I can't see why that's not possible." (Read more Iran stories.)

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