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How SPND is at the heart of Iran's Novichok research - Part II

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In this post we're continuing our deep dive into Iran's research on novel chemical weapons, which we think is being spearheaded by SPND. You can read the first part of this work here . In that article, we revealed that Iran's internationally-certified chemical weapons research laboratory, the DCRL, is co-located with and probably controlled by an SPND entity, the Shahid Meisami Research Group.   In this article, we pinpoint the person responsible for Iran's work on novel chemical weapons - and his close ties to SPND.   The man behind Iran's novichok work   Dr Mehran Babri ( مهران ببری , ID: 0050111078) is one of Iran's foremost experts on the science of chemical weapons. With more than 25 years of experience in chemistry, he's an expert in gas chromotograph mass spectrometry - an extremely precise means of measuring chemical compounds, and of detecting the presence of chemical weapon agents in environmental samples. Babri's published research

Revealed: SPND involved in research on Novichok chemical agents, Part I

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Today, we can reveal that the primary Iranian laboratory responsible for work on chemical warfare agents, including novichoks, has frighteningly close ties to SPND (سازمان پژوهش و نوآوری دفاعی), the shadowy organization that ran Iran's pre-2003 nuclear weapons program and continues to dabble in dual-use research with WMD applications.  We'll also reveal in our next post that the main Iranian scientist responsible for synthesizing these agents is on the SPND payroll.  And, even more disturbingly, that this individual has also spearheaded Iran's efforts to infiltrate and undermine the international organization charged with preventing the proliferation of chemical weapons. How do we know all this? Read on... Iran and chemical weapons: some background At face value, Iran abhors chemical weapons. Iran is one of the few states to have suffered wide-scale chemical weapon (CW) use against its population, and has maintained a famously strong public stance against CWs  since the che

SPND goes bio: the Stem Cell Technology Research Center

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Redline Headquarters The Internet Dear Western biotechnology researcher, We're pleased to meet you! You're probably visiting this web page because you've googled your prospective Iranian research or business partner, the Stem Cell Technology Research Center (شرکت فناوری بن یاخته), and you want to know a bit more about who you're dealing with. Great move! That's called "due diligence". Unfortunately, we have some bad news for you. The Stem Cell Technology Research Center (STRC) is actually a front for Iran's military and IRGC. It's owned and run by officials from Iran's military industries, and is probably involved in covert procurement of equipment and expertise for Iran's defence sector. If we had to place a bet, we'd say that the STRC is part of the SPND (سپند) organization - a military-run hub for remnants and holdouts from Iran's pre-2003 nuclear weapons program, and also a home to scientists who like playing on the boundaries o

Mohammad Eslami, head of the AEOI - who is he really?

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Iran's president Ebrahim Raisi spent much of his first few months in office since August last year sweeping out the remnants of any former government ministers who might have a whiff of reformism or internationalism about them. One victim of this clean-out has been the urbane Ali Akbar Salehi (علی اکبر صالحی), who headed the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI or سازمان انرژی اتمی ایران) from 2009 to 2010 and then again from 2013, and was for all intents and purposes the public face of Iran's nuclear program. Salehi made a famous double-act with US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz, teaming up in the JCPOA talks to wrestle together a highly complex and technical negotiated agreement. With Raisi at the helm, negotiations with the enemy are no longer in vogue, and Salehi is out. And Salehi's replacement is someone who has what we in the Iran nuclear fanboy/fangirl community would call "form" - that distinctive characteristic of having been so deeply involved in

Another SPND front company unveiled: Milad Darou Noor

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  Dear Redline fans,   Do you ever find that life gets in the way and stops you getting on with even the most important things? Well we here at Redline have been away for a little while, but we never wavered in our commitment to uncovering the latest antics of SPND ( سپند or sepand) , the secretive Iranian defense research organization. That’s right, we’re back in town, and we’ve got some very exciting discoveries to share with you which we think will more than make up for lost time.   Stay tuned over the coming weeks to find out what we’ve got in store for you!   First up…    Another SPND front company unveiled: Milad Darou Noor   We thought we’d start with another dive into one of the multitude of front companies owned or used by SPND , the shadowy Iranian defense research organization responsible for Iran's pre-2003 nuclear weapons program.   The company's name is Milad Darou Noor, ( شرکت داروسازی میلاد دارو نور ), also known as Milad Pharmaceutics. You ca

Sadra Cognitive Research Center: where SPND gets their freak on

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No villainous organization, factual or fictional, is truly complete without a part-time penchant for the truly weird. The Nazis had an obsession for finding the Spear of Destiny and Holy Grail. Spectre had a volcano lair and chinchilla cats. SPND ( سپند), the Iranian defense research organization that holds the ageing expertise from Iran's nuclear weapons program, is no exception. When SPND wants to get its freak on, it calls on one of its subsidiaries: the Sadra Cognitive Defense Science Center ( مرکز علوم شناختی دفاعی صدرا or مرکز علوم شناختی و دفاعی صدرا or مرکز پژوهشی صدرا or مرکـز مطالعات علوم شناختی دفاعی صدرا ). The Sadra Center has been around for a few years, but its status as a component of SPND was only revealed publicly in March 2019 in a US government sanctions list. Since then, a short article from a corporate intelligence company, Kharon, has provided some extra details on Sadra . Today, we want to provide even more evidence on the connections between SPND and Sadr

Iran's nuclear submarine: cui bono?

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With senior figures in Iran's Navy making noise again about pursuing a nuclear-powered submarine program , we here at Redline promised we would dig a little further into this expensive enterprise. So we thought we'd take a look behind the scenes at the Iranian organizations who will be elbowing each other out of the way to get some nuke sub cash.     Redline has been following the nuclear sub story since 2012, when Iran's navy first announced that Tehran was spinning up plans to "design and build nuclear submarine propulsion systems" . We said back then that the purported submarine plan was a fig-leaf to allow Iran to start enriching uranium to 60% - the point where uranium looks less like nuclear fuel for reactors and more like something you stick in a bomb. Thankfully, that hasn't happened yet, even if Iran did announce its intentions to enrich to 20%, already far beyond the 3.67% cap allowed by the JCPOA.   But the allure of a nuclear-powered su