Top Iranian nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh was laid to rest Monday after his assassination by what a security official in the Islamic Republic claims was a team of Israelis who used remote “electronic devices,” according to reports.
Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, made the allegation at Fakhrizadeh’s funeral, where Iran’s defense minister also vowed to continue the man’s work “with more speed and more power.”
“Unfortunately, the operation was a very complicated operation and was carried out by using electronic devices,” Shamkhani told state TV. “No individual was present at the site.”
He also blamed Iranian exile group Mujahedeen-e-Khalq for “having a role in this,” without elaborating. The MEK did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Israel — long suspected of killing Iranian nuclear scientists over the last 10 years — has declined to comment on the attack on Fakhrizadeh, who founded Iran’s military nuclear program in the 2000s.
He headed Iran’s so-called AMAD program, which Israel and the West have claimed was a military operation looking at the feasibility of building a nuclear weapon.
Meanwhile, Iran’s Press TV reported Monday that the weapon used in the assassination Friday was made in Israel, according to Reuters.
“The weapons collected from the site of the terrorist act (where Fakhrizadeh was assassinated) bear the logo and specifications of the Israeli military industry,” an unnamed source told the English-language news outlet.
Israeli officials did not immediately respond to a request for comment by Reuters.
On Sunday, Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency said that Fakhrizadeh was wiped out by a machine gun operated by remote control, while the Arabic language Al Alam TV reported that the weapons used were “controlled by satellite.”
Israeli intelligence minister Eli Cohen told radio station 103 FM on Monday, before the Press TV report, that he did not know who was responsible for the killing, Reuters reported.
When asked about potential Iranian retaliation, Cohen told the station 103: “We have regional intelligence supremacy, and on this matter we are prepared, we are increasing vigilance, in the places where that is required.”
Jerusalem insists that Iran still maintains the ambition of developing nukes, pointing to Tehran’s ballistic missile program and research into other technologies.
Tehran has long insisted that its nuclear program is peaceful.
Fakhrizadeh was killed Friday when he was ambushed on a highway near Tehran where his vehicle was sprayed with bullets.
Defense Minister Gen. Amir Hatami, who kissed Fakhrizadeh’s casket and put his forehead against it, said his killing would make Iranians “more united, more determined.”
“For the continuation of your path, we will continue with more speed and more power,” Hatami said.
With Post wires