The revolving door of SPND leadership spins again

 Well, blow us down. SPND has a new boss! Again!

Reza Mozafarinia SPND Head IRGC General MODAFL

We'd not even had time to settle in and get used to the tenure of IRGC official Mehdi Farahi, who'd been drafted in to replace the assassinated Mohsen Fakhrizadeh as head of Iran's premier defense-industrial-definitely-not-nuclear-weapons-research outfit. As things turn out, Farahi headed SPND for less than six months - a paltry record after Fakhrizadeh's 20 year plus run in charge of SPND or its predecessor organizations.


We're a bit sad about that, as Mehdi Farahi was a favorite punching bag for us at Redline HQ. There wasn't a single guidance system or carbon fiber production factory that Farahi couldn't bungle in his previous incarnations looking at things overseeing business in Iran's missile industry. Perhaps the SPND hot seat was just a little too toasty for Farahi's ample buttocks.


A big (if admittedly slightly belated) welcome, then to the new new head of SPND - Dr Reza Mozafarinia. If you've been lurking about inside Iranian government databases (we can only dream), you might know him by his national ID of 1280856521. So far as we can tell from his public appearances, Mozafarinia took over as head of SPND in about October 2021. He made his quiet debut that month signing a run-of-the-mill agreement between SPND and the Supreme Leader's University Representative. Mozafarinia's appointment as the lucky new boss of SPND was only picked up by Twitter the next month, after his new role was obliquely cited in another obscure Iranian media article.


So what do we know about Dr Mozafarinia? (Actually, let's go with Mozzer - we're an informal bunch here at Redline HQ.)


First, this Mozzer has probably never had bunches of gladiola thrown lovingly at his feet, nor has he been rightly shunned by Johnny Marr for dabbling in ethno-nationalism (at least so far as we know). Wrong Moz. Reza Mozafarinia, on the other hand, is yet another long-time Iranian regime crony: a pencil-pushing bureaucrat from Iran's military-defense industries, he's been known to Iran watchers for more than 20 years as one of the grayest of the gray men.


Reza Mozafarinia SPND Head IRGC General

Mozafarinia wasn't sure whether to go with the grey suit or the grey jacket. Both was a good option.


Dare we say, he's a boringly predictable replacement for Fakhrizadeh. Indeed, you might need some amphetamines just to get through Mozafarinia's CV. He was formerly <Deputy Minister of Industrialand Research Affairs of MODAFL, a role that mostly involves pretending that Iran's military industries are self-sufficient; that the country can actually make its own carbon fiber; and that the defense sector isn't thoroughly penetrated by foreign intelligence. Mozafarinia was also the dean of Malek Ashtar University - a military-owned research institution where Fakhrizadeh occasionally moonlighted. His academic specialization was corrosion studies - quite apt for such a rusted-on relic.


His central role in Iran's defense industries hasn't gone unnoticed by global authorities. We were going to print verbatim the text of Mozafarinia's <2013 US Treasury designation, but we had to make some light edits just to keep you awake. Here goes:


"Sweet and Tender Hooligan Reza Mozafarinia is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13382 for acting for or on behalf of the Ministry of Defence and Armed Forces Logistics (MODAFL). Mozafarinia, a Handsome Devil, is MODAFL's Deputy Defense Minister and Dean of Malek Ashtar University (MUT). This Charming Man is responsible for significant contributions to Iran's missile program.  Is It Really So Strange that Mozafarinia has been the head of Malek Ashtar University of Technology (MUT) since at least 2009? MUT [is Murder] was designated on July 12, 2012 pursuant to E.O. 13382 for being owned or controlled by MODAFL. Accept Yourself that MUT was identified in the Annex to UNSCR 1929 because it is a subordinate (Half a Person) of the Defense Technology and Science Research Center within MODAFL - where There Is a Light That Never Goes Out."


Some subtle references there! You should get the picture, though - Dr Moz is a hardened member of Iran's defense establishment.


Mozafarinia also inherits an SPND that appears to be on the ascendancy in Iran's political system. We note that Iran's parliamentary national security commission has approved a plan to recognize SPND as an independent legal personality within MODAFL. The details of this plan aren't clear, but we predict that it might entail an increased budget, more resources, and more weight for SPND within decision-making circles.


That's not great news, but at the same time we take solace in the fundamental weaknesses of the organization. SPND's legendary founder is dead. The organization is toxic in international circles. Every senior official gets publicly exposed; every domestic deal revealed. Even half-assed bloggers can run rings around it.


See you next time!


[For the benefit of happy Googling:

Name: Reza Mozaffarinia Hosein

AKA: Reza Mozaffarinia

AKA: Reza Mozaffari nia

AKA: Dr. Reza Mozafarnia

AKA: Reza Mozaffari-nia

AKA: Reza Mozaffari-niya

AKA: Reza Mozafarinia

AKA: Reza Mozafari-niya]


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