• Redline's 2018 Forecast
  • It's that time of year when the Redline team usually gets a bit misty-eyed and indulges in some reminiscing about the year gone past. Not this year though! Instead, we're focused on 2018 and making sure that we're ready to keep delivering insights into the murkier aspects of Iran's nuclear program.

    So what are we expecting to happen next year on...


  • The Mighty Noosh
  • If you've spent any time loitering around university bars (as Redline very well may have done), you'll know that life as a PhD student is pretty much the opposite of enjoyable. The pursuit of a doctorate might be a noble one, but PhD study usually also comes with a one-way ticket to self-loathing, depression, and inevitable alcoholism.

    So imagin...


  • The SPND EMP-ire strikes back
  • Anyone with a passing interest in science fiction has probably heard of an electromagnetic pulse (پالس الکترومغناطیسی), or EMP. The US, Russia and China have experimented with EMP technology before, and the North Koreans might be having a go as well. Indeed EMPs pop up all over the place, including in The Matrix, Battlestar Galac...


  • The SPND B-Team: Hossein Zaki-Dizaji
  • B Team

    It's more or less holiday time at Redline HQ at the moment. Scientists from Iran's former nuclear weapons program (known as AMAD) are cooling their heels under the terms of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the nuclear deal that prohibits them from doing any nuclear weapon-related experiments...


  • Missile Man-teghi takes charge of the Iran Space Agency
  • The Iran Space Agency (سازمان فضایی ایران) has a new man at the top! His name is Manouchehr Manteghi (منوچهر منطقی) and he'll be taking charge of Iran's space programme - the country's occasionally successful efforts to lob satellites, monkeys and space ca...


  • Rafsanjani's trip down memory lane
  • Rafsanjani

    Redline HQ has noted that, hot on the heels of the recent IAEA report, Iranian regime heavyweight and pistachio billionaire Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani (‌اکبر هاشمی رفسنجانی) has also been in the ne...


  • New IAEA report: PMD and SPND
  • Yukiya Amano and the boys and girls at IAEA headquarters in Vienna have just delivered the IAEA's final report on the so-called possible military dimensions (PMD) of Iran's nuclear programme. You can read the report here.

    For Iran, the report is not exactly...


  • A rare win for the SPND marketing department
  • Like a cruise missile trying to evade an air defence system, the SPND organisation generally prefers to fly below the radar. That's a sensible choice. Iran's leadership is still trying to downplay the decade-old revelations about what SPND got up to in the bad old days of Iran's pre-2004 nuclear weapons programme.

    So it's a rare treat when Redli...


  • Welcome to the AMADY’s 2015!
  • The Redline awards for those who made a special contribution to the Iran deal.

    award

    With the ink drying on a nuclear deal, no doubt many in Iran and the West are to be honoured for their role in such an historic agreement. The Supreme Leader has [heaped praise](http://www.haaretz.com/middle-east-news/1.666047...


  • The Divine Unit and the Death Ray
  • The northern hemisphere has just been enveloped in a summery haze characterized by ice cream, sunburnt tourists, and teenagers falling in love on vacation. In Iran, whatever summer looks like at SPND, hopefully some of its best and brightest will find the time for some R&R on holiday…it’s not like any of them are snowed under by work at the mom...


  • The Iran deal, continued: Finally, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh can holiday in Florida
  • Hotel Coburg Vienna 15th July

    Hotel Coburg, Vienna - 15th July

    We're back to talk about the nuclear deal of the century - and this time, we're doing it with added sobriety. The champagne bottles are being packed up and the post-deal hangover is just wearing off.

    Fortunately, it won't be th...


  • Can the last nuclear scientist out please turn off the neutron initiator
  • “Death comes along like a gas bill one can’t pay” Anthony Burgess

    With the deadline for a nuclear deal approaching news that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei (علی خامنه ای) has point blank refused to allow the IAEA any access to nuc...


  • A DEAL'S A DEAL - BUT HOW DOES FAKHRIZADEH FEEL?
  • Deal

    Hold the phones, and take a deep breath - the deal of the century has been finalised! For anyone thinking this is referring to the Greek deal, sorry to disappoint; today is all about Iran and the P5+1. It's taken a lot of dedication, resources, patience and compromise to get here (the negotiating team is prob...


  • Mohsen Fakhrizadeh's Money Factory
  • Money_factory

    Things are still looking good on the Iran nuclear deal-making front. While there's a long way to go in the negotiations, the parameters agreed so far look like they will prevent Iran from making a dash for nuclear weapons for at least the next decade, and probably longer.

    So what's Mohsen...


  • Redline outs another AMAD Man
  • Our recent walk down memory lane with Redline favourite Kamran Daneshjou has made us nostalgic for the AMAD days.

    In 2015, it's hard to imagine Iran's leadership letting a bunch of untalented regime cronies try to shoehorn a nuclear warhead into a Shahab-3 missile. In 2002, though, that's exactly wh...


  • Mano a Amano: How SPND can help solve the PMD puzzle
  • Zarif Zarif and Amano

    Possible Military Dimensions. The only three words that make SPND (سازمان پژوهشهای نوین دفاعی) officials sweat more than an Argentinian footballer in a press interview.

    The issue is so scary that when Iran released ...


  • Self-Sufficiency the Iranian way
  • In news that somehow remained under the radar during this period of intense negotiations on Iran’s nuclear programme, the Washington Free Beacon revealed in April that Iran had received "several shipments of missile components" from No...


  • Sneaky satellites and universities behaving badly
  • With all of the current excitement over Iran’s nuclear program and the extension of talks for a comprehensive deal Redline is feeling that Iran’s ballistic missile and aerospace efforts are neglected. It’s sad to think that there may be disillusioned missile researchers and university students across Iran, thinking ‘nobody cares about my s...


  • Desperately Seeking Soleimani
  • The news that Iran and the West had agreed the “Not a Deal” Nuclear Deal will have had many in Iran’s nuclear project considering what is important to them.

    Self-preservation is the name of the game now. Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (محسن فخری زاده) and SPND know that too well, especially now we’ve established that their previous prote...


  • Leave it to Cleaver
  • Despite positive developments in the nuclear-sphere it seems that Redline is as much of a target in Iran as South Korea is for North Korea or Taylor Swift is for haters.

    Once again Redline has been atta...


  • SPND beware the ides of March
  • With the framework of a nuclear deal put in place during long nights in a Swiss hotel, March 2015 may have been the single most important month in the history of SPND (سپند). Not only could an historic nuclear agreement mean the end of any chance of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (محسن فخری زاده) becoming the Father of the Iranian Bomb, March a...


  • What's in the box? Iran and the West have a Deal or No Deal moment.
  • Redline, the Iranian public and SPND has been poised in anticipation for the past month awaiting the outcome of the longest arm wrestling contest in history. Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the West and the series of vague, will-they-won't-they announcements tested the patience of even the most avid Iran-watcher. Well, wait no longer.

    On ...


  • Spies and the CITC
  • Today, we're revealing one of the worst-kept secrets of Iran's spy agency, the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (وزارت اطّلاعات جمهوری اسلامی ایران). Well - perhaps we're not quite so much revealing, given that this secret has been revealed several times before. More like reminding!

    Here's the secret. Iran's Ce...


  • The Moghfather, Part III (or, Dial D for Deterrent)
  • Moghfather

    The last year has been a busy one for Iran-watchers, and especially so the lead-up to November 24th - the long-awaited deadline for nuclear negotiations to wrap up between Iran and the West. That deadline came and went, of course, with the negotiations be...


  • War! What is it good for?
  • War has a tendency to make you prioritise. When the bombs are flying, there’s not really any room for vanity projects or inefficiency. That’s why Iran’s bombastic entrance into the campaign against ISIL should have the criticali...


  • Crossing the Redline
  • In December last year Redline made the news when American company Cylance published a report revealing the activities of an Iranian hacking group called Tarh Andishan (طرح اندیشان), which they named Op Cleaver.

    Based on the evidence, it seemed pretty clear to Redline that Tarh Andishan were being directed by, or were an actual part of,...


  • The Cult of Fakhrizadeh
  • As more is revealed about activity at Parchin, the future of SPND becomes more and more of an issue. Indeed it seems unlikely that the Head of SPND, Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (محسن فخریزاده) is enjoying the same cosy relationship with his new boss Hossein Dehghan (حسین دهقان) as he has with Ir...


  • An Inconvenient Truth
  • Redline has always admired Iran’s commitment to renewable energy. If you take the public stance at face value, Iran is determined to pursue clean nuclear energy in spite of crippling economic sanctions. If everyone showed that level of commitment, Al Gore would be delighted.

    In reality though, what actually matters to the Iranian Government i...


  • What’s going on between Iran and North Korea?
  • Rouhani and North Korea

    We here at Redline have been thinking about international double acts recently. It really is so much easier to get things done when you work together. Just look at Han Solo and Chewbacca, Tintin and Snowy and Laurel and Hardy. All masters at what they do. Where would the universe ha...


  • GOODBYE TO THE THREE AMIGOS
  • Reorganisation. It’s the word we all dread. It’s complex. It’s brutal. It often means you move out of your comfort zone. And no one is immune. Not even the US PGA.

    The SPND (سازمان پژوهش و نوآوری دفاعی or سپند) is also changing its line up. But how will this effect ...


  • Redline: Enemy of the State?
  • Op Cleaver

    Rewind to January 2014! Redline had a few problems with the website, we fell over. Channelling our inner Sherlock Holmes, Redline was able to pinpoint the likely culprits. An Iranian company or group called Tarh Andishan, who happened to be located [just around the corner from SPND](http://iranredl...


  • Nuclear negotiations: seven more months
  • Time extension!

    Time extension! If you ever played Daytona USA during your misspent youth you'll know the feeling well. It's relief tinged with anxiety: you've beaten the clock, but have to face one more lap of the circuit during which you might well s...


  • Grandfather of the Bomb?
  • Redline understands that if one thing in the world is certain, it’s that you can’t outrun time. It catches up with all of us in the end.

    Unfortunately, with the passage of time comes the passing of knowledge. And if that knowledge happens to be particularly sensitive and technical, like how to build a multi-point detonation system or to mach...


  • Nuclear negotiations: the final countdown
  • Fancy a schnitzel, anyone? Good news, then, but only if you work for one of the governments involved in the ongoing negotiations on the future of Iran's nuclear programme. Their senior diplomats are all back in Vienna this week trying to hammer out a final deal, and they're racing to beat a self-imposed deadline at November 24th. Unfortunately, wit...


  • Parchin revisited
  • On 5 October, an explosion rocked the outskirts of south-eastern Tehran. Initial reports of the incident were fuzzy, but that didn't stop some people getting very, very excited.

    The explosion reportedly took place at a...


  • An Emamicipation Proclamation from Jalalaland
  • Redline is a big supporter of the current nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1. In our less modest moments we like to think that our blog has helped the talks by keeping Iran's nuclear malfeasants on their toes. But while any progress is good progress on the public side of the negotiations, we can't help but wonder what is going on in the...


  • Breaking up the band
  • THIS_IS

    For any long-running band, it’s hard to keep up the same standards, especially following early notoriety.

    SPND’s management is no exception, over the last decade or so they have gone from the smash-hit first project ‘The AMAD Plan’ which drew huge international interest and meant they were s...


  • SPND money problems: who missed the management?
  • Redline has always seen itself as an authority. However, we have never been an authority on finance.

    Likewise, as we’ll see, MODAFL (وزارت دفاع و پشتیبانی نیروهای مسلح) finances are also likely to be feeling decidedly tighter at the moment. So, what might this mean for the SPND (سازمان پژوهشی و نو...


  • SPND gets sanctioned
  • It's October already! Nuclear negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 are still rolling on and Iran has let a couple of the IAEA's deadlines slide by without 'fessing up about its past sins.

    Perhaps trying to hurry things along, the US government has just taken...


  • Iran’s ICBM programme revisited
  • ICBM

    It’s now well established that Iran’s military has a covert long-range ballistic missile development programme with the aim of producing an ICBM. You can read about that here, [here]( http://www.nti.org/gsn/article/iranian-icbm-unlikely-2016-co...


  • Redline’s Year in Review
  • As the second part of our alcohol free first birthday celebrations, we’ve gone all nostalgic and decided to take a look back at the Year That Was, 2013-2014: the good times, the bad times, the space cat times. Here we go…

    Things really got moving on June, 2013, when Hassan Rouhani was resoundingly el...


  • Redline turns one: Hits and memories
  • Happy birthday us! It’s been a year since Redline went live, and in the absence of a party, it’s time for some reminiscing.

    Our mission was to go deep inside the heart of Iran’s nuclear weapon research complex. We’ve focussed our efforts on the entity known as the Organisation for Defensive Research and Innovation (سازمان پژوه...


  • Civilian Applications: the IAEA tackles EBWs
  • Another quarter goes by, and there’s another IAEA report out on Iran’s nuclear programme.

    Need some analysis of what it all means? The [New York Times](http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/24/world/middleeast/iran-is-providing-information-on-its-detonators-atomic-...


  • Nuclear negotiations take a back seat
  • World Cup

    With the world’s most important international summit currently taking place in stadia across Brazil, it’s a little difficult to stay focussed on other, lesser symposia - and particularly the one in Geneva that’s trying to find a long-term solution to Iran’s nuclear programme.

    Time is runni...


  • Testing Times Part II: The CTBTO’s SPND saboteurs
  • CTBTO saboteurs

    Redline has talked about the CTBTO recently. But like the neverending story this goes on and on and on.

    SPND’s role in Iran’s engagement with the CTBTO was a tightly held secret - until now. Today, Redline is revealing a number of SPND officials who have spent the past decade e...


  • Testing Times: How Iran’s Ministry of Defence is out to sabotage the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty
  • CTBTO

    With so much attention paid over the last decade to Iran’s wrangling with the International Atomic Energy Agency, the uneasy stand-off between Tehran and another international nuclear watchdog - the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organisation - has gone largely unnoticed. The CTBT is more than...


  • Rouhani calls in an AEOIOU
  • Abbasi

    Reuters has just reported that President Rouhani has removed a number of hardliners from senior positions in the Atomic Energy Organisation of Iran.

    That’s good news, if true. And while Reuters provided few othe...


  • Pining for AMAD
  • fakhrizadeh

    Things are not going well for Mohsen Fakhrizadeh-Mahabadi (محسن فخری زاده مهابادی), the man whose life-long goal is to produce Iran’s first nuclear weapon.

    The odds of that goal ever coming to fruition get worse each day. For two reasons.

    The first reason is geop...


  • Call D for Dadashnejad
  • Redline doesn't hanker too much for the past. Sure I have a thing for David Bowie and think the return of Prince is long overdue.

    alt_Bowiealt_Prince

    But generally I look to the future. That said there is something about the historical work of SPND (سازمان پژوهش و...


  • SPND joins the space race
  • cat

    Talks between the world powers and Iran are currently inching along in Vienna, lest anyone ever doubt the powers of schnitzel and bier to help build geopolitical harmony. And with every teeth-pulling concession the P5+1 draws out of Iran, the thank-god process of Tehran coming in from the cold continues.

    Me...


  • SPND goes to College
  • college

    It seems that the usually secretive SPND is getting around a bit more than you might expect.

    I’ve just come across this flier for the Third National Conference on Nanoscience Defense Applications (سومین همایش س...


  • EBWs: Detonation, Procrastination, Explanation
  • Another day, another bit of progress on Iran.

    This time it’s the IAEA that’s had some success: they’ve convinced Tehran to address several aspects of the IAEA’s ever-expanding file on Iran’s nuclear program. You can read the press release here

    The IAEA has wheedled so...


  • Post-Geneva: Where are we now?
  • alt_Bowie

    Funny how the unexpected sometimes happens. And in the last year, we've had a lot of surprises. David Bowie made a decent album again. Kim Jong Un executed his uncle and made Dennis Rodman his consigliore.

    And Iran signed a nuclear deal.

    As 2014 gets underway, so too does the ...


  • Iranredline - Big in Iran apparently!
  • It appears iranredline is hitting a nerve in Iran! On 16 January, Iranredline.org was subject to a concerted and sustained attack, resulting in the site falling over. But like the phoenix I have arisen again and have spent some time to find out why this happened.

    I have spoken to my hosting company and they identified an Iranian IP (217.11.17.9...


  • Iranredline - attack log
  • 217.11.17.99 - - [15/Jan/2014:15:49:40 +0100] "GET /awstats HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x8664; rv:26.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/26.0" 217.11.17.99 - - [15/Jan/2014:15:49:58 +0100] "GET /awstats HTTP/1.1" 404 286 "-" "Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x8664; rv:26.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/26.0" 217.11.17.99 - - [15/Jan/2014:15:50:01 +01...


  • Back online
  • I am back online - looks like I was attacked!

    Have asked the hosting company to look into what happened....


  • Mo METFAZ, mo' problems
  • Of all the parts of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s SPND (سپند) organisation, the group known as CREST or METFAZ (ضربه و انفجار فناوری تحقیقات مرکز or متفاز) will have surely the hardest time justifying its existence to Iran’s new government.

    METFAZ is a nuclear weapon component workshop, plain and simple. For the p...


  • Meet the Fakhrs
  • I’ve said before that Iran can’t jump the gap of actually producing nuclear weapons because they will get caught. Partly this is because the global intelligence services monitoring Iran are good. And partly this is because Iran’s operational security is so poor.

    This second assertion is one that I...


  • I got 99 problems but enrichment ain’t one (aka The Geneva Deal)
  • Pic 1

    You might be tired of reading about the Geneva nuclear deal by now, given that apparently every single person on the internet has a view about it (mine, for the record, is that the deal is overall a Good Thing).

    But there are three things about ...


  • NCRI: New SPND facility at Sanaye Street, Tehran
  • The NCRI has been at it again, outing a facility in Tehran that they say is the new headquarters of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh’s SPND (سپند) organisation. According to the [NCRI’s Paris press conference,](http://www.nri-iran....


  • Iran: Deal or No Deal
  • With the recent talks at Geneva not failing - and perhaps even being modestly successful - we're now finally at the start of real, substantive negotiations between Iran and the E3+3 powers.

    So the diplomatic track is back on. That's something to be pleased with, coming as it has after the election of Hassan Rouhani, his conciliatory tweets and...


  • Things that make you go boom
  • You might remember Darioush Rezaienejad (داریوش رضایی نژاد) – a young Iranian who met his demise in a mysterious shooting in Tehran in 2011.

    Quite apart from the tragedy of a young man dying, Rezaienejad’s death caused a modicum of confusion in the press. Some [initial media reports](http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east...


  • Iran’s ultimate deterrent
  • Can I hit you with a bombshell?

    Actually, it’s better described as a warhead. A warhead that goes a really, really long way. Here’s what I’m talking about:

    Iran has an ongoing program to build a long-range missile that will eventually enable it to deliver nuclear weapons (if it makes them) to the continental United States.

    This progr...


  • AMAD Men – or, how to resolve Iran’s Possible Military Dimensions
  • One of the pesky things getting in the way of a nuclear deal between Iran and the West is the so-called Possible Military Dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program: the IAEA’s extensive collection of evidence that indicates that prior to 2004, Iran had a consolidated nuclear weapons program under the auspices of the AMAD plan.

    Iran doesn’t want...


  • Radiation
  • alt_scioscias

    If you’re in charge of a nuclear facility – C. Montgomery Burns style – and want to ensure that your beloved employees don’t come down with a bad case of the Mike Scioscias , you need to worry about protecting them from radiation.

    G...


  • Heavy Metal in Tehran
  • I’m told that one of the hardest things to do when making nuclear weapons is metallurgy – getting the fissile material ‘pit’ that sits at the heart of the bomb just right. You don’t want your pit to be contaminated by other materials, nor for it to be brittle or aerated – they’re a...


  • The Art of Shahmoradi
  • You all know and love Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the least secret secret nuclear weapons program manager of all time. He gets all the press these days, even if his near mythical abilities are slightly exaggerated every now and then

    Let’s leave Fakhrizadeh for a minute: it’s about tim...


  • Danilenko and the Chamber of Secrets
  • alt_Danilenko

    Let’s continue our tour through the Iranian nuclear program with a look at the man whose name would give you a fairly handy triple-word score were proper nouns playable in Scrabble: Vyacheslav Vasilevich [Danilenko](http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/pakistan/6170145/A.Q.-Khan-bo...


  • Iran's Yellowcake Submarine
  • or, How to Succeed in Weapons Grade Uranium Enrichment without Really Lying

    yellowsubmarine

    Iran has got away with mastering, more or less, the art of uranium enrichment. On a purely technical level, subject to a bit of further trial and error, they've clearly got the wherewithal to finish the...


  • Sanctions and the rogues' gallery
  • Sanctions on Iran. Seems you can’t go a day without reading someone’s pontifications on whether they’re working or not. And what you’ll read most about are the big, macro-level sanctions on Iran’s oil trade and economy, the sort of broad-brush efforts that are designed to alter Iran’s strategic calculus.

    Potentially more interesting...


  • Iran, the nuclear bomb and the negotiation smokescreen
  • Getting away with it since 2002

    2002 seems a long time ago now (think Enron, the warm up for the Iraq war, Avril Lavigne……). But that was the year that Iran was caught developing a secret nuclear program. Since then there have been what seem like endless negotiations. Iran initially stopped enriching the uranium it would need for a nuclea...