It was around 4:30pm in Tehran that reports emerged about the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, a top nuclear scientist, by an armed group
Fakhrizadeh, who wasn’t a publicly well-known figure, was a physics professor at University of Imam Hussein, the defence minister’s deputy and the head of the Research and Innovation Organisation for the ministry.
According to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps-affiliated Tasnim news agency, the attack occurred at 2:30pm, while Fakhrizadeh was in Aabsard county, close to Tehran. As his car was passing a pick-up truck, the truck exploded and a group of armed men opened fire on him, leading to his bodyguard being shot four times.
However, Fars, another IRGC-affiliated news agency, published a slightly different and likely more accurate account of the incident. At first, Fakhrizadeh’s car and two cars of his bodyguards were stopped as a group of men started constant shooting, and then a pick-up truck full of timber exploded in front of the car.
“After the explosion, the terrorists who had ambushed [them] began shooting at the car of the nuclear scientist from an unclear point,” reported Fars, adding that one of the bodyguards put his car in front of the gunmen to protect Fakhrizadeh, leading to his “martyrdom”.
Fakhrizadeh was soon taken to hospital, but his wounds proved fatal.
Iran’s state TV said that “based on unconfirmed reports,” one of the gunmen had been captured.
‘Remember that name’
According to General Amir Hatami, Iran’s defence minister, Fakhrizadeh was “in charge in the field of nuclear defence in the Ministry of Defence, and the issue of nuclear defence and his [ties] with nuclear scientists had made him famous as a [nuclear scientist]”.
He added that the use of “lasers in air defence or the detection of intruding aircraft by means other than radar” was also among his work. Fakhrizadeh, who was called “Mr Mohseni,” was also active in missile programmes too.
Middle East Eye