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 the step of designating a bunch of Iranian entities for their continuing involvement in proscribed nuclear work, illicit finance, and other sanctions-busting activities.
One of those entities is Redline's favourite punching-bag, the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, also known as SPND. If you've ever read this blog you'll know a bit about SPND and their long history of nefarious but woefully-insecure 'secret' nuclear research.
If you've never heard of SPND, the State Department has just done you a favour. Here's their desert-island summary of who SPND is and what they do:
The Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND) is a Tehran-based entity that is primarily responsible for research in the field of nuclear weapons development. SPND was established in February 2011 by the UN-sanctioned individual Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who for many years has managed activities useful in the development of a nuclear explosive device. Fakhrizadeh led such efforts in the late 1990s or early 2000s, under the auspices of the “AMAD Plan, the MODAFL subsidiary Section for Advanced Development Applications and Technologies (SADAT) and Malek Ashtar University of Technology (MUT). In February 2011, Fakhrizadeh left MUT to establish SPND. Fakhrizadeh was designated in UNSCR 1747 (2007) and by the United States in July 2008 for his involvement in Iran’s proscribed WMD activities. SPND took over some of the activities related to Iran’s undeclared nuclear program that had previously been carried out by Iran’s Physics Research Center, the AMAD Plan, MUT, and SADAT.
Not bad stuff. A useful refresher, even if it's mostly old information.
The US has provided us with one nugget of newness, though. The Fakrizophiles in the Redline office have picked up that the address which the State Department lists for SPND has not, so far as we can tell, been seen before in the public domain. It's Negarestan 3, off of Pasdaran Street, Tehran (3 خیابان پاسداران، نگارستان).
That's not either of the two SPND addresses known to Redline. We've written before about SPND's old Mojdeh Street (خیابان مژده) and newer Sanaye Street (خیابان صنایع) facilities. The street called Negarestan 3 off Pasdaran Street is nowhere near these sites.
For comparison, here are the three locations on a map of north-east Tehran:
It could be that the State Department has given us a wrong address - although that's not particularly likely, given the presumably massive number of lawyers working in Foggy Bottom. More likely is that SPND has moved into yet another Tehran office. If so, then SPND has some great new neighbours. Just across the Zeyn al-Din Highway (بزرگراه شهید زینالدین) from Negarestan 3 is the massive headquarters of Iran's Ministry of Intelligence and Security or MOIS (وزارت اطلاعات جمهوری اسلامی ایران). Here's the two facilities:
MOIS, you'll have noted, is responsible for finding spies and thwarting sabotage.. Having an SPND office across the road should make it easier for them to find all of the moles crawling around Mohsen Fakhrizadeh's inner circle... if, that is, MOIS has even realised that SPND has moved in.Comment on this article...