Mohsen Fakhrizadeh laid to rest in Mashhad, Iran
Mohsen Fakhrizadeh laid to rest in Mashhad, IranReuters

Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the Iranian nuclear scientist who was shot dead near Tehran in November was killed by a one-ton automated gun that was smuggled into the country piece-by-piece by the Mossad, the British-based JewishChronicle revealed on Wednesday.

According to the report, the 20-plus spy team, which comprised both Israeli and Iranian nationals, carried out the high-tech hit after eight months of painstaking surveillance, intelligence sources disclosed.

Israeli analysts have concluded that Fakhrizadeh's death has extended the period of time it would take Iran to achieve a nuclear bomb from about three-and-a-half months to two years — with senior intelligence figures privately putting it as high as five years.

Fakhrizadeh, 59, known as the “father of the bomb”, lost his life in a burst of 13 bullets as he travelled with his wife and 12 bodyguards in Absard, near Tehran, on November 27 last year.

Neither his wife nor any of his security team were harmed in the attack, which was carried out using a hyper-accurate automated weapon in order to protect civilians from collateral damage, according to JC.

The report confirmed that the Mossad spy agency was behind the hit, which was carried out by mounting the killing device in a Nissan pickup.

The weapon, operated remotely by agents on the ground as they observed the target, was so heavy because it included a bomb that destroyed the evidence after the killing, according to JC.

It was carried out by Israel alone, without American involvement, the report added. US officials were only given a “little clue, like checking the water temperature” prior to the attack, according to top international intelligence sources.

Iran has repeatedly baccused Israel of directing Fakhrizadeh’s death, calling his elimination an act of "state terrorism".

Senior Iranian military officials have vowed to avenge the killing of the top nuclear scientist.