IRANIAN scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was assassinated using a machine gun that "zoomed in" on his face using artificial intelligence, an Iranian commander has claimed.
Fakhrizadeh, a senior official in Iran's nuclear programme, was shot 13 times while driving on a road to the east of capital Tehran on November 27.
The shots are thought to have come from a pickup truck parked around 10 to 15 metres away.
There were also reports of an explosion at the scene.
Speaking to the regime-linked Mehr news agency, Ali Fadavi, deputy commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, said: “The automatic weapon installed in the pickup was also equipped with a smart satellite system that zoomed into Fakhrizadeh’s face and used artificial intelligence.”
He added that the gun "focused only on martyr Fakhrizadeh’s face in a way that his wife, despite being only 25cm away, was not shot".
He also said there were no "terrorists" at the scene and that the gun was being "controlled online".
Fakhrizadeh’s head of security is thought to have thrown himself on Fakhrizadeh during the attack and to have suffered four gunshot wounds.
Speaking on Monday, Rear Admiral Shamkhani, head of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, also said the attack had been carried out by "special methods".
"It was a very complex mission using electronic equipment. There was no-one present at the scene," he said.
The regime has said it believes that attacks as carried out by Israel in cooperation with exiled opposition group Mujahideen-e Khalq.
No perpetrator has been confirmed, although the New York Times quoted an unnamed senior Israeli official as saying: "Iran's aspirations for nuclear weapons, promoted by Mr Fakhrizadeh, posed such a menace that the world should thank Israel".
'NO CRIME WILL GO UNANSWERED'
Fakhrizadeh is reportedly the fifth nuclear scientist working with the Iranian regime to have been assassinated since 2010.
Following Fakhrizadeh's death, protesters in Iran burned pictures of President Trump and President-elect Joe Biden were burned.
Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said the regime's first priority would now be "definitive punishment" for the scientist's killers.
A physicist by background, Fakhrizadeh has been a central figure to the country's nuclear programme and has held various positions over the last 30 years.
The regime continues to insist the programme is peaceful, but is widely thought to be developing nuclear weapons.
Speaking at Fakhrizadeh's funeral last week, defence minister General Amir Hatami said Fakhrizadeh has conducted "considerable work" in the field of "nuclear defence".
"The enemies know, and I as a soldier tell them, that no crime, no terror and no stupid act will go unanswered by the Iranian people," he said.
He also said the regime would double the budget of the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, which oversees Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapon.
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