There are several versions of the recent assassination of the most prominent Iranian nuclear scientist and high-ranking officer of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh.
The scientist was traveling with his wife from the city of Rostamkol (Mazandaran Province in northern Iran) to Absard, Tehran Province. He was accompanied by three security vehicles. The first escort vehicle went forward to check the situation on the road. After that, the sound of bullets hitting the car attracted Fakhrizadeh's attention. He stepped out of the vehicle, mistaking those sounds for engine malfunction, and it was at that moment of time, when Fakhrizadeh was shot. The scientist was hit by four bullets, several other bullets killed his bodyguard. The scientist was rushed to hospital, but the doctors were unable to save his life.
Immediately after the attack, official sources reported that the nuclear engineer and his bodyguards were attacked by "terrorists," that the physicist himself, his bodyguard and several attackers were allegedly killed. However, over the weekend, the official version proved to be more than just questionable against the background of several contradictory semi-official versions of the attack.
According to the Fars news agency, Fakhrizadeh was killed from a remotely controlled automatic weapon when he stepped out of his armored vehicle. The fire was opened from a Nissan vehicle, which was approximately 150 meters away, from remote-controlled automatic small arms. Afterwards, the Nissan vehicle was blown up, and the attackers were not found on the site.
Fereydun Abbasi Davani, the former head of the Iranian Nuclear Energy Agency, claims that there were people on the site where the assassination attack took place. According to his version, the original goal was to make Fakhrizadeh's convoy stop next to the Nissan pickup truck, before blowing up the vehicle. However, it just so happened that Fakhrizadeh stopped his car before reaching the pickup. During the shootout, one of his bodyguards was killed, and the explosion of the Nissan explosion distracted his security.
Writer, documentary filmmaker and publicist Javad Mogouei, who is considered to be close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, wrote on Instagram, citing his sources, that inside the Nissan vehicle there were snipers waiting for the scientist.
The publicist wrote about four passengers of the vehicle, four motorcyclists and two snipers. Other sources do not confirm this information. Mogouei also criticized intelligence agencies and claimed that they were infiltrated by whistleblowers who could provide information to organizers of the assassination.
Ayatollah Khamenei's advisor and the head of the Iranian Strategic Council on Foreign Relations Kamal Kharazi said that Iran would give a decisive response to the assassination of Fakhrizadeh. Conservative Iranian newspaper Kayhan called for an attack on the Israeli port city of Haifa. However, the Iranian command is aware of how difficult it is to deliver such a blow to a target in Israel.