New U.S. Sanctions Put Spotlight on Iranian Research Institute

March 25, 2019


Richard Stone


Science Magazine

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  • United States

The U.S. Departments of State and Treasury sanctioned 31 entities linked to Iran’s Organization for Defense Innovation and Research (SPND), a military institute that allegedly maintains nuclear weapons expertise under the guise of civilian research. The sanctions are aimed at restricting opportunities for scientists connected with SPND to conduct research abroad and participate in international conferences. The names of the firms and individuals appear to have been drawn from a trove of documents seized by Israeli forces in January 2018. According to U.S. government officials, some of the newly-sanctioned entities are connected to Iranian universities, including Malek Ashtar University and Imam Hussein University, while others have been involved in the procurement of advanced technology from Russia and China.