The top Iranian nuclear scientist killed in November of last year perished because of an AI-powered weapon, according to media reports. The weapon reportedly operated from a command center far away from his location and did not need on-site operatives.
According to an in-depth report published by the New York Times over the weekend, the weapon was pace in an abandoned-looking vehicle to take out Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. The killing took less than a minute and did not injure anyone else. Accordingly, Fakhrizadeh’s wife was in the car with him during his killing, and she was not injured in the incident.
The report also said that the machine gun that was used in the operation was a modified Belgian-made FN MAG. It was powered through artificial intelligence, and it weighed about a ton. It was smuggled into Iran in small parts and was later reassembled in the area.
The Mossad team carried out the operation, and the command center was even outside Iran. The move to assassinate Fakhrizadeh had been planned since 2019 and was to be executed that year or in 2020. Fakhrizadeh’s career and movements were closely followed since 2007.
The assassination was given the green light after a series of meetings among Israeli officials led by then-Mossad director Yossi Cohen and high-ranking United States officials, including then-U.S. President Donald Trump, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and the CIA Director Gina Haspel.
The green-lighting of the assassination was fueled by two factors. The first factor centered on Iran’s response to the January 2020 killing of its top general Qassim Suleimani in a U.S. drone strike facilitated by the Israeli intelligence, and the second is the rising possibility that Trump would lose the national election in November 2020 to now President Joe Biden.
The New York Times added in its report, “If Israel was going to kill a top Iranian official, an act that had the potential to start a war, it needed the assent and protection of the United States.” Further, then-premier Benjamin Netanyahu said that Fakhrizadeh’s assassination would be the best-case scenario and would derail any chance of resurrecting the nuclear agreement if Biden won.