News Briefs

November 13, 2011
Brigadier General Hassan Moghaddam, a commander in Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, was killed in an explosion at a military site outside of Bidganeh, about 25 miles from Tehran, along with 16 other Revolutionary Guards members. The explosion took place while soldiers were transporting munitions, according to Iranian officials. General Moghaddam was a top commander in Iran's missile program; he oversaw the development of the Shahab-3 missile.
-- New York Times
November 8, 2011
The International Atomic Energy Agency reported new evidence that Iran has undertaken activities relevant to the production of a nuclear weapon, some of which may be ongoing.  The evidence came from more than ten countries and from independent sources.  According to the IAEA report, Iran created computer simulations and built a testing site to study how conventional explosives can be used to trigger a nuclear device.  The report also says that Iran may have sought uranium for an undisclosed enrichment program, obtained nuclear explosive design information, and explored a number of missile warhead designs suitable for delivering a nuclear payload.  Iran has rejected the report's findings.
-- New York Times
October 25, 2011
Russia has delivered Avtobaza truck-mounted radar jammers to Iran in a move that the Russian government argues does not contravene United Nations sanctions. It is unclear when and how many jammers were sent.
-- Agence France-Presse via Defense News
October 13, 2011
The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on Iran's Mahan Air, charging that it had flown members of Iran's Qods Force and Hezbollah around the Middle East. Under the sanctions, Mahan's assets in the United States are frozen and U.S. firms are barred from doing business with it.
-- Agence France-Presse
October 11, 2011
According to U.S. officials, elements of the Iranian government planned to assassinate Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States as well as bomb the Israeli Embassy in Washington D.C. and the Saudi and Israeli Embassies in Argentina, with the help of Los Zetas, a Mexican drug cartel.  The alleged plot was planned by Mansour J. Arbabsiar, an Iranian-American living in the United States, and Gholam Shakuri, an officer in Iran's Quds Force, which is part of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.  Mr. Arabsiar was arrested in New York on September 29, 2011; Mr. Shakuri remains at large.  Iran has denied the allegations.
-- New York Times
September 28, 2011
Iran's Navy and Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Naval Force received a large supply of Qader (Mighty) anti-ship cruise missiles from the country's Defense Ministry. According to Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi, the missiles have a 200 kilometer range, can be launched on short notice, and can hit both naval vessels and onshore targets.
-- Fars News Agency
September 15, 2011
Belarus is suspected of helping Iran procure missile technology, especially navigation and guidance products, in violation of U.N. sanctions. According to intelligence information, a Belorussian businessman named Yuri Charniauski has been trying to purchase an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) for his company, TM Services, from a Russian firm named Optolink in order to sell it to Iran. Members of the U.N. panel of experts will discuss the implementation of U.N. sanctions on Iran with Belorussian officials during a visit to Belarus this month.
-- Reuters
September 12, 2011
Iran's first nuclear power plant, the Russian-built Bushehr nuclear plant, was connected to the national power grid and is operating at about 40 percent (350-400 MW) of its capacity. The plant could begin full-power operations in December.
-- Associated Press
September 12, 2011
Marc Knapp, of Simi Valley, California, was sentenced to 46 months' imprisonment after pleading guilty, on January 13, 2011, to illegal exports to Hungary and attempting to export U.S. defense items to the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act and the Arms Export Control Act. Military items included: an F-5B Tiger II fighter jet, two F-14 ejection seats, five anti-gravity flight suits, four hand-held search and rescue radios, and fighter jet emergency procedures manuals.
-- Press Release, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement
September 2, 2011
Iran revealed its Ghader missile, also reported as Qader missile. Ghader is a new version of the Chinese-designed C-802 anti-ship missile, and a variant fitting the Ghader's description has been identified in Chinese sources as the "C-803." The C-802, also known as Project Noor (Dawn), is well established in Iranian service with an active assembly line producing surface-, ship- and air-launched variants.
-- Jane's Missiles and Rockets