SPND gases protestors

  The first anniversary of the death of Mahsa Amini and the resulting wave of protests across Iran has us reflecting on the courage of those who dare to take to the streets. While we’re usually preoccupied with Iran’s nuclear program and other research activities that edge close to the category of weapons of mass destruction, we should remember that the Iranian entities involved in WMD-related work are also responsible for direct acts of repression against legitimate protesters. SPND, our main bête-noire, is of course no exception. We’ve written extensively about SPND’s Shahid Meisami Group ( گروه شهید میثمی ), and its head, Mehran Babri ( مهران   ببری , National ID: 0050111078). Shahid Meisami and Babri have long been on our radar because of their work developing deadly chemical warfare agents, including V-series nerve agents and Novichok. Thankfully, unlike Putin’s Russia, Iran hasn’t yet felt the need to apply Novichok or nerve agents to any dissidents . The Iranian aut

SPND Goes Recruiting

  SPND Goes Recruiting   Editor’s note: A rare treat for readers with this post! We’ve been combing through the recently leaked emails from the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI), and came across a nugget from some of the AEOI’s Iranian colleagues that was too good not to share. We’re releasing in its entirety the below email from Iran’s SPND organization, which we’ve translated for your convenience. -------------------------------------------------------------   From: SPND Human Resources Department < > To: Number One Iranian Recruitment Agency & Kebab Emporium < >   Dearest Recruitment Agency & Kebab Emporium,   Here’s the job advert that we at SPND want to publicize:   Hi friends! SPND here, Iran’s oldest and most prestigious nuclear-weapons-but-not-really research organization. You might have seen us “going viral” recently with our Instagram and Telegram . Due to th

My Babri Just Doesn't Care For Me

It seems we struck a nerve with our last article on Dr Mehran Babri (مهران ببری, ID: 0050111078), the man leading SPND’s research into chemical weapons. That’s not surprising – Babri’s work on fourth generation chemical agents – including the notorious Novichok variants used by Russia in assassination attempts – is pretty outrageous, and we can barely believe that nobody had outed it already. One thing that we didn’t cover in that article is Babri’s deep connections across Iranian academia, and the inherent risks that those connections pose to otherwise innocent academics and research institutions. Let’s dive in! Publish or perish Like many of his SPND colleagues, Mehran Babri collaborates on scientific research with Iranian universities outside the SPND bubble. That’s not something that you might expect, given these guys work in an otherwise top-secret environment. But published research is the yardstick by which scientists judge their success; and it’s hard for SPND scienti