Parchin Mystery

Exposing the Parchin Mystery

 

Key figures, officials, organizations, staff, and foreign advisers

November 7, 2014

The following report draws on information and intelligence obtained by the social network of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) inside Iran. The information herein has been compiled on the basis of dozens of reports obtained from various sources, including officials, experts, and technocrats within a number of regime organizations, including the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran, the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND), as well as military institutions such as the Ministry of Defense and the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

Owing to its extraordinary sensitivity for the regime, MEK’s compilation of information related to activities at Parchin started in early 2012 and continued to late October 2014.

MEK Exposes:

1) There were two explosive chambers built by AzarAb industries, an affiliate of the IRGC Company,Khatam al-Anbia. This was part of a highly classified special project with only two senior officials at the company having full knowledge of the construction project. The chambers were to be used for special tests,particularly for high explosive impact as part of the nuclear weapons program of Iran.

2) One of the two chambers was installed at Parchin Military Complex in southeast Tehran by the Defense Ministry between late 2000 and early 2001.

3) The main individual responsible for the design and installation of the explosive chamber was an IRGC official, an engineer by trade, named Saeed Borji, a confidant of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who is also an explosives expert and a former official at the “Center for Explosives, Blast Research and Technologies,” which is known by its Persian acronym METFAZ and is one of the subdivisions of SPND.

4) The Ukrainian expert Vycheslav V. Danilenko was in Iran at the time to cooperate with the regime in the field of explosive impact and collaborated closely with Saeed Borji in the design and installation of the explosive chamber.[i]

5) In addition to Danilenko, his son-in- law, Vladimir Padalko, was also in Iran at the time and was involved in the explosive chamber project.

6) When installing the chamber at Parchin Military Complex, no one from AzarAb Industries was allowed into Parchin. Danilenko and Borji were present at Parchin and supervised the installation of the explosive chamber.

7) Iranian Presidential Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation (CITC), (this ‘center’ was at the time referred to as ‘office’), whose task is to circumvent international sanctions and to obtain illicit information on weapons of mass destruction, including nuclear weapons, has been involved in the Ministry of Defense’s nuclear activities in relation to recruiting and employing experts fromRussia, Belarus and Ukraine. CITC was directly involved in recruiting Danilenko while also addressing his specific needs.

8) Saeed Borji had an intimate working relationship with Danilenko throughout the latter’s stay in Iran, and together they designed the explosive chambers. Borji gained expertise and experience from Danilenko in the areas of nanodiamonds, explosive detonation and other aspects of nuclear warhead manufacturing.

9) Our information shows that contrary to Danilenko’s claims, he was directly involved in the explosive chamber project, was in Parchin and supervised its installation and operation.

10) New intelligence indicates that Danilenko’s contract for cooperation with the Iranian regime was signed by CITC under the direct supervision of the head of this office, Seyyed Mohammad-Reza Sajjadi.

11) According to this information, Morteza Amir Kanian, the deputy chair of the office, and Seyyed Hassan Emami, a consultant at the office (currently the deputy for energy at CITC), were both in direct contact with Saeed Borji and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi and were in charge of recruiting and accommodating the needs of foreign scientists. They personally made arrangements for Danilenko’s stay in Iran, including providing him with a travel visa.

12) The explosive chamber(s) installed and used at Parchin Military Complex were part of a project that began under the supervision of the nuclear weapons division of Iran (at the time called Physics Research Center, and today called the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research, or SPND). Mohsen Fakhrizadeh Mahabadi, the key figure for the Iranian regime’s nuclear weapons program, headed the project.

13) The cover story for this project was ostensible research in the field of nanodiamonds (or “ultra-dispersed diamonds”).

Additional Information:

1. Overview of the Project

The project for building “explosive chambers” was commenced in the 1990s under the supervision of the nuclear weapons division. The high explosives project at Parchin was part of this overall program. The key individual in this project is Saeed Borji, an IRGC officer since 1980. He is married and has a PhD in material and metallurgical engineering form Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. He was put in charge of nuclear research by the IRGC, and in recent years has continued high explosives research. Borji,an expert in high explosives and nanodiamonds, is a key figure in Iran’s nuclear weapons program and has been working closely with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. He chaired the “Center for Explosives, Blast Research and Technologies,”

2. Nanodiamonds Research: Cover for High explosives Research for the Nuclear Program

While Iran’s Nanotechnology Initiative Council actively conducts research in the fields of Nano Fluorine and Carbon Nano Tubes, among other things, it was the Defense Ministry and its nuclear program that started the nanodiamonds research. This research is currently being conducted at the Defense Ministry as a national program and is considered a top-secret project. Currently, nanodiamonds research is also continuing at SPND and the IRGC’s Malek Ashtar University. As the person in charge of this project, Saeed Borji has relied on nano technology research as well as on his nanodiamonds expertise to set up a cover for activities leading to the building of explosive chambers.

3. Employment of Foreign Experts

Beginning in the 1990s, what is now the Iranian Presidential Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation (CITC) sought to obtain nanodiamonds expertise and recruit experts in the field from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine in conjunction with nuclear activities conducted by the Defense Ministry. A brief explanation about the activities of this institution is telling.
The Iranian Presidential Office for Innovation and Technology Cooperation began its activities in 1983 tasked with a mission to aid in the development and transfer of technology as a means for creating a knowledge-based economy. This coincided with the creation of a special IRGC unit to conduct nuclear research in the same year. The stated objectives of this organization are as follows: Help overcome restrictions and challenges for particular industrial technologies in the country through international cooperation; Identify, review, analyze and establish relations with the network of key elements for technological development; Make decisions and outline strategies and policies for technological advancement; Help create and develop knowledge-based institutions and organizations for technological advancements. One of the main activities of CITC over the years has been to circumvent sanctions; to obtain the required technologies and know-how for weapons of mass destruction, especially though building relations or espionage; and to recruit and employ experts in these fields using a variety of methods. This is clearly stated in the organization’s objectives.

Vycheslav V. Danilenko attracted the attention of the Iranian regime’s nuclear program officials when he contacted the Iranian Embassy in Ukraine in 1995 and expressed readiness to cooperate with the regime. Dr. Abbas Shahmoradi, then head of the Physics Research Center, interviewed and later employed Danilenko. (Currently, Fakhrizadeh occupies Shahmoradi’s old position).

4. The Project’s Key Iranian Figure and his Relationship with Danilenko

While in Iran, Danilenko worked in the area of impact and explosion, with some of that work being done at METFAZ. According to several reports obtained from sources within the regime, Danilenko was specifically invited to share his knowledge and expertise in building large explosive chambers in order to conduct tests on explosive detonators and neutron initiators. Danilenko’s direct professional contact in Iran was Saeed Borji. Borji closely worked with Danilenko during the latter’s stay in the country.Saeed Borji is responsible for designing and building “explosive chambers” at Parchin. Borji obtained the expertise and experiences of Danilenko in the areas of nanodiamonds, explosive impact and other aspects of a nuclear warhead.[ii] Saeed Borji is currently one of the managers at SPND as well as one of the handpicked individuals in Fakhrizadeh’s team. He is considered a top expert in the field of high explosive chambers using special explosives and also teaches at the Chemical and Chemical Engineering Department, as well as Materials Engineering Department of the Malek Ashtar University. In 2006, after working with Danilenko for several years in successfully advancing the regime’s designs for the building of explosive chambers at Parchin and conducting explosive tests, Borji was named the winner of the third round of awards for best ideas in nanotechnology by the Iranian website, www.nanoidea.ir.

5. Designing and Building Two Special Explosive Chambers for Parchin

The design for two special explosive chambers at Parchin was completed by Danilenko under Borji’s supervision.After the completion of the design, Saeed Borji handed over the task of building the two reactors at Parchin to AzarAb Industries.AzarAb Industries is an affiliate company of the Khatam al-Anbia Garrison, which is owned by the IRGC.
The Central office of AzarAb in Tehran is located at Vanak Square, Molla Sadra Street, No 15. The explosive containers were built at their factory in Arak, 5 km from the road to Qom. The current CEO of AzarAb is Gholamreza Behmanesh, based in the company’s central office in Tehran It is worth mentioning that AzarAb Industries has expertise in building chambers and had previously completed a number of projects of this kind for the Ministry of Defense and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. But, the building of these two explosive chambers was deemed a special and highly classified project for the regime’s nuclear program. Therefore, comprehensive information about the designs was provided to only two people at AzarAb: AzarAb’s chief executive officer at the time, an engineer named Hashem Nezam-Abadi had access to information about the full designs of these chambers.
The person in charge of the security of the factory that built the chambers, Valiollah Baqeri, was given the designs of both chambers.
Other sections of the AzarAb Industries, which were tasked with producing various components of these chambers, were only provided with designs related to their individual portfolios. Therefore, not only were they unaware of the overall objective, they were not even informed of the complete design for the chambers. The Defense Ministry’s point of contact with Hashem Nezam-Abadi, was an individual named Derakhshandeh. All of the materials used for building these two chambers were procured by the Defense Ministry and later provided to AzarAb Industries. This is because the required materials were dual-purpose, which meant that AzarAb could not obtain them. Nezam-Abadi is the current CEO of Kaveh Pars Mineral Industries, which is an affiliate of the Janbazan Foundation.
Mohammad Sharif Soltani and Gholam-Hossein Katouzian were both engineers at AzarAb, each of whom built parts of these chambers. Soltani is currently the deputy for the oil and gas department of AzarAb, and Katouzian is currently the chair of the company’s factory in Arak.
AzarAb Industries was placed on the European Union’s sanction list on July 26, 2010. Subsequently, the IRGC decided to rebrand it as a private enterprise in order to circumvent sanctions. The company was privatized on January 13, 2012, with IRGC members becoming its shareholders.

6. Installation of the Chambers at Parchin

The main point of contact at the Defense Ministry, Derakhshandeh, was responsible for delivering the built components to Parchin. One of the two chambers was then assembled at Parchin by the Defense Ministry and under the supervision of Saeed Borji and Danilenko in late 2000 and early 2001. Due to the highly sensitive nature of the project, none of the personnel or engineers at AzarAb was permitted to visit Parchin.

7. Cover up

As a cover for activities relating to neutron initiators and explosive detonators, the regime tried to draw attention to cooperation with Danilenko on nanodiamonds in order to divert attention from the work on high explosive chambers and explosive detonation tests. In this regard, Saeed Borji also worked to cover up the installation of explosive chambers at Parchin and related nuclear detonator tests by pretending that the chambers are required for the production of nanodiamonds. In order to provide a more convincing cover story, Borji, who is an IRGC officer, worked to set up commercial companies active in the field of nanodiamonds.
Among these companies, Arya Nano Pioneers (“Pishgaman Nano Arya”), with Borji as a board member, was created in 2006. In order to set up a more convincing case for this front company, officials at the company actively sought contracts, but in the end the company never signed a single commercial deal. Following the IAEA’s 2011 report and its insistence on carrying out inspections with respect to these chambers, the regime came to the conclusion that this cover story has proven fruitless and so Arya Nano Pioneers was disbanded on January 29, 2012.

8. Attempts to Recruit Experts from Other Countries

Another front company operating in this fashion was called Advanced Materials Development. It worked with Belarus since 2006 on nanodiamonds and the building of explosive chambers. In addition to Danilenko, scientists from Belarus were taken to Iran in order to work on nanodiamonds and construction of explosive chambers. Under the direct supervision of Saeed Borji, Dr. Maziar Zand, the CEO of Advanced Materials Development at the time, engaged in negotiations with Belarus on explosive chambers and nanodiamonds. The results of these negotiations were regularly communicated to Saeed Borji. Borji and two of his aides attended some of the negotiation sessions. A company in Belarus, named Sintha (spelling unclear) and headed by an expert named Alexander Korzenewski formed a joint company with Iran’s Advanced Materials Development on July 26, 2006 and gave it the name Apadana Advanced Nanotechnology Company, with the registration number 276084 in Tehran. Their limited products served as a cover for their extensive research activities. On August 22, 2012 the Belarus Company left Apadana.
Borji managed this project as a representative of Fakhrizadeh’s enterprise, and regularly reported its progress to Fakhrizadeh. Borji was initially supposed to be a partner in Advanced Materials Development Company. However, the project was suspended for unknown reasons.

 

Additional Information:

1. Overview of the Project

The project for building “explosive chambers” was commenced in the 1990s under the supervision of the nuclear weapons division. The high explosives project at Parchin was part of this overall program.The key individual in this project is Saeed Borji, an IRGC officer since 1980. He is married and has a PhD in material and metallurgical engineering form Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. He was put in charge of nuclear research by the IRGC, and in recent years has continued high explosives research. Borji,
an expert in high explosives and nanodiamonds, is a key figure in Iran’s nuclear weapons program and has been working closely with Mohsen Fakhrizadeh. He chaired the “Center for Explosives, Blast Research and
Technologies,”

2. Nanodiamonds Research: cover for high explosives research for the nuclear program

While Iran’s Nanotechnology Initiative Council actively conducts research in the fields of Nano Fluorine and Carbon Nano Tubes, among other things, it was the Defense Ministry and its nuclear program that started the nanodiamonds research. This research is currently being conducted at the Defense Ministry as a national program and is considered a top-secret project. Currently, nanodiamonds research is also continuing at SPND and the IRGC’s Malek Ashtar University.
As the person in charge of this project, Saeed Borji has relied on nano technology research as well as on his nanodiamonds expertise to set up a cover for activities leading to the building of explosive chambers.

3. Employment of Foreign Experts

Beginning in the 1990s, what is now the Iranian Presidential Center for Innovation and Technology Cooperation (CITC) sought to obtain nanodiamonds expertise and recruit experts in the field from Russia, Belarus, and Ukraine in conjunction with nuclear activities conducted by the Defense Ministry. A brief explanation about the activities of this institution is telling. The Iranian Presidential Office for Innovation and Technology Cooperation began its activities in 1983 tasked with a mission to aid in the development and transfer of technology as a means for creating a knowledge-based economy. This coincided with the creation of a special IRGC unit to conduct nuclear research in the same year.
The stated objectives of this organization are as follows:

Help overcome restrictions and challenges for particular industrial technologies in the country through international cooperation;
Identify, review, analyze and establish relations with the network of key elements for technological development; Make decisions and outline strategies and policies for technological advancement;
Help create and develop knowledge-based institutions and organizations for technological advancements.
One of the main activities of CITC over the years has been to circumvent sanctions; to obtain the required technologies and know-how for weapons of mass destruction, especially though building relations or espionage; and to recruit and employ experts in these fields using a variety of methods. This is clearly stated in the organization’s objectives.
Vycheslav V. Danilenko attracted the attention of the Iranian regime’s nuclear program officials when he contacted the Iranian Embassy in Ukraine in 1995 and expressed readiness to cooperate with the regime. Dr. Abbas Shahmoradi, then head of the Physics Research Center, interviewed and later employed Danilenko. (Currently, Fakhrizadeh occupies Shahmoradi’s old position).

4. The Project’s Key Iranian Figure and his Relationship with Danilenko

While in Iran, Danilenko worked in the area of impact and explosion, with some of that work being done at METFAZ. According to several reports obtained from sources within the regime, Danilenko was specifically invited to share his knowledge and expertise in building large explosive chambers in order to conduct tests on explosive detonators and neutron initiators. Danilenko’s direct professional contact in Iran was Saeed Borji. Borji closely worked with Danilenko during the latter’s stay in the country. Saeed Borji is responsible for designing and building “explosive chambers” at Parchin. Borji obtained the expertise and experiences of Danilenko in the areas of nanodiamonds, explosive impact and other aspects of a nuclear warhead.[ii] Saeed Borji is currently one of the managers at SPND as well as one of the handpicked individuals in Fakhrizadeh’s team. He is considered a top expert in the field of high explosive chambers using special explosives and also teaches at the Chemical and Chemical Engineering Department, as well as Materials Engineering Department of the Malek Ashtar University. In 2006, after working with Danilenko for several years in successfully advancing the regime’s designs for the building of explosive chambers at Parchin and conducting explosive tests, Borji was named the winner of the third round of awards for best ideas in nanotechnology by the Iranian website, www.nanoidea.ir.

5. Designing and Building Two Special Explosive Chambers for Parchin

The design for two special explosive chambers at Parchin was completed by Danilenko under Borji’s supervision. After the completion of the design, Saeed Borji handed over the task of building the two reactors at Parchin to AzarAb Industries.AzarAb Industries is an affiliate company of the Khatam al-Anbia Garrison, which is owned by the IRGC.
The Central office of AzarAb in Tehran is located at Vanak Square, Molla Sadra Street, No 15. The explosive containers were built at their factory in Arak, 5 km from the road to Qom. The current CEO of AzarAb is Gholamreza Behmanesh, based in the company’s central office in Tehran It is worth mentioning that AzarAb Industries has expertise in building chambers and had previously completed a number of projects of this kind for the Ministry of Defense and the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran. But, the building of these two explosive chambers was deemed a special and highly classified project for the regime’s nuclear program. Therefore, comprehensive information about the designs was provided to only two people at AzarAb: AzarAb’s chief executive officer at the time, an engineer named Hashem Nezam-Abadi had access to information about the full designs of these chambers. The person in charge of the security of the factory that built the chambers, Valiollah Baqeri, was given the designs of both chambers.Other sections of the AzarAb Industries, which were tasked with producing various components of these chambers, were only provided with designs related to their individual portfolios. Therefore, not only were they unaware of the overall objective, they were not even informed of the complete design for the chambers.

The Defense Ministry’s point of contact with Hashem Nezam-Abadi, was an individual named Derakhshandeh. All of the materials used for building these two chambers were procured by the Defense Ministry and later provided to AzarAb Industries. This is because the required materials were dual-purpose, which meant that AzarAb could not obtain them.
Nezam-Abadi is the current CEO of Kaveh Pars Mineral Industries, which is an affiliate of the Janbazan Foundation.Mohammad Sharif Soltani and Gholam-Hossein Katouzian were both engineers at AzarAb, each of whom built parts of these chambers. Soltani is currently the deputy for the oil and gas department of AzarAb, and Katouzian is currently the chair of the company’s factory in Arak.AzarAb Industries was placed on the European Union’s sanction list on July 26, 2010. Subsequently, the IRGC decided to rebrand it as a private enterprise in order to circumvent sanctions. The company was privatized on January 13, 2012, with IRGC members becoming its shareholders.

6. Installation of the Chambers at Parchin

The main point of contact at the Defense Ministry, Derakhshandeh, was responsible for delivering the built components to Parchin. One of the two chambers was then assembled at Parchin by the Defense Ministry and under the supervision of Saeed Borji and Danilenko in late 2000 and early 2001. Due to the highly sensitive nature of the project, none of the personnel or engineers at AzarAb was permitted to visit Parchin.

7. Cover up

As a cover for activities relating to neutron initiators and explosive detonators, the regime tried to draw attention to cooperation with Danilenko on nanodiamonds in order to divert attention from the work on high explosive chambers and explosive detonation tests.

In this regard, Saeed Borji also worked to cover up the installation of explosive chambers at Parchin and related nuclear detonator tests by pretending that the chambers are required for the production of nanodiamonds. In order to provide a more convincing cover story, Borji, who is an IRGC officer, worked to set up commercial companies active in the field of nanodiamonds.Among these companies, Arya Nano Pioneers (“Pishgaman Nano Arya”), with Borji as a board member, was created in 2006. In order to set up a more convincing case for this front company, officials at the company actively sought contracts, but in the end the company never signed a single commercial deal.

Following the IAEA’s 2011 report and its insistence on carrying out inspections with respect to these chambers, the regime came to the conclusion that this cover story has proven fruitless and so Arya Nano Pioneers was disbanded on January 29, 2012.

8. Attempts to Recruit Experts from Other Countries

Another front company operating in this fashion was called Advanced Materials Development. It worked with Belarus since 2006 on nanodiamonds and the building of explosive chambers. In addition to

Danilenko, scientists from Belarus were taken to Iran in order to work on nanodiamonds and construction of explosive chambers.

Under the direct supervision of Saeed Borji, Dr. Maziar Zand, the CEO of Advanced Materials

Development at the time, engaged in negotiations with Belarus on explosive chambers and nanodiamonds.

The results of these negotiations were regularly communicated to Saeed Borji. Borji and two of his aides attended some of the negotiation sessions.

A company in Belarus, named Sintha (spelling unclear) and headed by an expert named Alexander Korzenewski formed a joint company with Iran’s Advanced Materials Development on July 26, 2006 andgave it the name Apadana Advanced Nanotechnology Company, with the registration number 276084 in Tehran. Their limited products served as a cover for their extensive research activities. On August 22, 2012 the Belarus Company left Apadana.

Borji managed this project as a representative of Fakhrizadeh’s enterprise, and regularly reported its progress to Fakhrizadeh. Borji was initially supposed to be a partner in Advanced Materials Development

Company. However, the project was suspended for unknown reasons.

Dr. Maziar Zand is currently an advisor to Iran’s Inspections Organization.

Background Information: Chamber Specifications

A source close to Hashem Nezam-Abadi quotes him as saying that the specifications for these two special explosion chambers are: 4.6 meters in diameter and about 19 meter in length.[iii]

[*] These materials are being distributed by the National Council of Resistance of Iran-U.S. Representative Office. Additional information is on file with the Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.

.[i] The November 8, 2011 International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards report on Iran identified a foreign expert who may have been important to Iran’s development of implosion detonation systems used in nuclear weapons. The Agency writes in the report that it has “strong indications that the development by Iran of the high explosives initiation system, and its development of the highspeed diagnostic configuration used to monitor related experiments, were assisted by the work of a foreign expert who was not only knowledgeable in these technologies, but who, a Member State has informed the Agency, worked for much of his career with this technology in the nuclear weapon programme of the country of his origin.” Information in other IAEA documents reviewed by Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS) identified this person as Vycheslav V. Danilenko in November 13, 2011. .( http://isis-online.org/uploads/isis-reports/documents/ Foreign_Assistance_Multipoint_Initiation_System_14Nov2011.pdf ). Danilenko had denied that he had anything to do directly with the design and installation of the explosive chamber in Parchin or that he had visited that site.

[ii] Saeed Borji’s name was first mentioned by the NCRI in its February 2008 press conference in Brussels when the operations of Mojdeh site were exposed.

[iii] This specification corroborates with the AP story on May 13, 2012, based on assertions of a foreign diplomat who said the dimensions are 4.6 meters in diameter and 18.8 meters in length.