Pasdaran, Solid-Fuel and Aviator Sunglasses

Reconstructing Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei’s and IRGC Commander Mohammad Ali Jafari’s visits to Project Ghaem.

To this day, Iran’s pre-2011 bid to rise a immeasurable solid-fuel SLV stays dark in mystery. While a ubiquitous outline of a module has been concurred by several Iranian officials, a plan continues to be talked about in a inside voice and in dim allusions creation it a closest homogeneous to Lord Voldemort in a area of Iranian plain fuel miss… ehem SLVs.

Unsurprisingly, sum sojourn scarce. After all we don’t wish to spoil a warn of ‘a unequivocally modernized capability that will be announced during a correct time.’ However, Iran wasn’t Iran if it didn’t recover a lot of associated element and a occasional OPSEC failure. Indeed, dual array of photos and other tidbits make it probable to refurbish dual investigation visits to a plan by some of a highest-ranking officials of a Islamic Republic, including no other than a Supreme Leader of a Revolution, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and a then-commander of a IRGC Mohammad Ali Jafari.


On 12 Nov 2011, residents of Karaj and Western Tehran felt a belligerent underneath their feet shaking. Fist suspicions that a small trembler had taken place or that an armed conflict opposite Iranian chief comforts competence have commenced were fast dispelled by central reports about an blast during an IRGC investigate facility. Soon, a bottom in doubt was identified as a barb investigate trickery named Shahid Modarres Garrison nearby a city of Bidganeh (35.623667° 50.873427°). The 39 martyrs killed in a conflict enclosed a hitherto different Brigadier General Hassan Tehrani Moghaddam, emissary commander of a IRGC’s Aerospace Force and President of a Self Sufficiency Jihad Organisation (SSJO). Only after his death, it was suggested that it was Moghaddam who had founded a IRGC’s barb force and led a barb growth and prolongation efforts for some-more than dual decades. Practically overnight, Moghaddam became a star of a Islamic Republic, featured in billbords, songs and an unconstrained tide of documentaries. The West never unequivocally asked what Moghaddam had worked on nonetheless instead used a singular courtesy camber to consternation either a CIA or Israel had killed him. Not so in Iran, where each anniversary saw some-more information about a life of Moghaddam expelled and some-more small pieces of a nonplus that was his final project.

First, came then-IRGC commander Mohammad Ali Jafari, who reliable that during a time of his genocide Moghaddam had been operative on a solid-fuel SLV.

In Nov 2014, Fathollah Oumi, a highbrow during Tarbiat Modarres University, an associate of Moghaddam and stream trainer of a Aerospace Research Center jumped in to endorse Moghaddam had worked on a solid-fuel SLV in a live radio program. Around a same time, IRGC Aerospace Force emissary Seyyed Majid Musavi joined a party, reliable a inlet of a module and offering some luscious additional details. Such as a fact that a solid-fuel SLV was being grown by a sly growth bid using in together to Iran’s determined barb attention and a offical liquid-fuel space program. While a latter programs are run by Iran’s Aerospace Industries Organization (AIO) and a sub-companies, a solid-fuel SLV was being grown by a Self-Sufficiency Jihad Organization (SSJO) in tandem with a problematic IRGC Space Academy.

Whatever happened to a module after Moghaddam’s genocide is a flattering good doubt (we are operative tough to find out).

Khamenei’s Visit

On a sixth anniversary of Moghaddam’s genocide in 2017, Iranian media outlets published dual photographs display a visibly aged Moghaddam subsequent to a Supreme Leader during what seems to be an central visit. No serve context in a form of date, plcae or arise was given. This in itself was rarely unusual. Visits of a Supreme Leader are a immeasurable understanding in Iran and are customarily accompanied by immeasurable broadside as good as evident press and print releases by a Supreme Leader’s office.

Several intriguing sum can be done out in a pictures. First there is a apparent participation of 3 flasks of chemicals presented to a Supreme Leader. The stage is curiously ignored by Mohammad Shirazi, a conduct of a Supreme Leader’s Military Office who also happens to be a man who spoke about a ‘very modernized capability that will be announced during a correct time.’ Second, a becloud nonetheless clearly tangible technical upsurge draft is manifest in a credentials of a initial picture. The many engaging fact however, is a trademark on Moghaddam’s lab coat. Despite a immeasurable volume of element expelled on both Iran’s barb and space program, a trademark in doubt has never been seen somewhere else. There is one small difference however, an problematic print floating around a Persian-language internet apparently scanned from some announcement

The print is odd. Ostensibly display an ID card, it is done adult of several parts, a print of Moghaddam, a badly degraded chronicle of a trademark on Moghaddam’s lab cloak and a hairy and apparently clumsily censored pic of a cylindrical intent in a background.  The marker identifies Moghaddam as trainer of a IRGC Space Academy. Whether this was a genuine ID or rather a try to refurbish one is formidable to tell. Whatever is a case, both a peculiar ID and a clearer pic of Moghaddam’s lab cloak offer adequate sum to refurbish a logo.

The trademark itself is a utterly fascinating pattern display a stylized SLV placed over a globe. The SLV’s position and a arrangements of a meridians impersonate a calligraphic pattern of a word Allah in a button of a Iranian dwindle (itself designed to resemble a globe). The aesthetically appreciative garb is surfaced off by a IRGC’s design superimposed over a SLV. Unfortunately, a peculiarity of both cinema is too low to contend with finish certainty what a marker during a bottom of a trademark says. However, both a context and a calm of a trademark do prove that this could be a design of a IRGC’s puzzling Space Agency (pazhuheshkade-ye faza’i). Indeed, a second partial of a marker that is rather some-more clear than a initial partial looks a lot like a Persian word for space.

But what about a context and a time of a visit? Moghaddam’s rather eloquent hermit Mohammed Tehrani Moghaddam, mentions in an interview that a Supreme Leader had paid a revisit to Moghaddam’s plan on a Friday in a year 1389, during a march of that Moghaddam gave a Supreme Leader a promise. Khamenei replied by putting his palm on Moghaddam’s shoulder and mentioning that Moghaddam had so distant over each guarantee he had done to him. Whether a communication continued with Moghaddam and Khamenei behaving a Ashford Simpson classical ‘Solid’, as we consider it did, has unfortunately not been upheld down. Fortunately there is another, rather some-more design information point, this time in a form of nonetheless another pattern that slipped over Iranian censors. 

Taken during a 2012 rite commemorating a martyrs of Shahid Modarres castle in a participation of afterwards vice-president Masoud Zaribafan and former IRGC personality Mohsen Rezaee, a commemorative pattern can be seen being handed over. A cropped and rather extended chronicle of a pattern above shows it was taken during a same revisit as a photographs above with Moghaddam’s labcoat displaying a peculiar logo.

The marker reads as follows:

The Supreme Leader’s Inspection of Project Ghaem
Imam Hossein University – May 28, 2010

Both a year 1389 and a weekday (May 28 was a Friday) compare a comment given by Moghaddam’s brother. The Supreme Leader’s bureau customarily penetrating on documenting each step Khamenei takes, has no eventuality listed for this day. However, it papers Khamenei attending Imam Hossein University’s annual graduation ceremony usually 4 days earlier. Years later, a Supreme Leader’s bureau released a note created by Khamenei to Moghaddam and a SSJO on May 30, 2010. As can be schooled from other, some-more public, visits of Khamenei to invulnerability installations, it is customary use to have Khamenei send brief handwritten letters of thankfulness to a officials he usually visited.

Just as engaging as a date of a revisit is a fact that a marker calls a eventuality an investigation of ‘Project Ghaem.’  Professor Fathollah Oumi had already mentioned in 2014 that a SLV Moghaddam was operative on was named Ghaem (from Arabic: al-Qa’im, a one who has risen, a pretension for a 12th Imam al-Mahdi).

In between Moghaddam and Khamenei, another chairman can be seen – Vahid Haghanian. Haghanian, a rather murky figure, is not usually famous for his individualist braid nonetheless also for being one of a closes advisors to Ali Khamenei, with some sources describing him as a Supreme Leader’s right hand.

The plcae of a revisit is nonetheless another dark gem in a pattern within a picture. Reports about Moghaddam’s final years, while infrequently mentioning his team-work with universities, mostly execute Moghaddam as a sole talent aided usually by his rope of SSJO brothers. Both a systematic mandate of formidable rocket and barb growth and a fact that this plcae was selected for Khamenei’s revisit prove that a establishment played a many incomparable purpose in a module than formerly assumed.

Jafari’s Visit

However, Khamenei was not a usually high-ranking figure profitable a revisit to Moghaddam’s final project. In 2012, a Iranian opening Khabar Online published an interview with an unnamed former co-worker of Moghaddam accompanied by a set of 4 photographs display IRGC commander Jafari and several other officials during a revisit to a Shahid Modarres Garrison. Mashregh News after published another pic of a smiling Jafari during a visit.

While a Khabar Online essay itself already mentions a cinema uncover Shahid Modarres Garrison, serve acknowledgment is supposing by a fact that dual of a photographs can be clearly gelocated.

Many of a people benefaction during a investigation can be identified by comparison with a list of martyrs who perished during a explosion.

Ali Kangarani, Reza Mirhosseini and Mohammad Gholami were all members of a SSJO organisation who were killed in a Nov 12 explosion. Mehdi Dashtbanzadeh served as a commander of a Shahid Modarres Garrison and met a same predestine as his SSJO colleagues The chairman named ‘Hashem Nouri’ is a bit of a mystery. He appears during Moghaddam’s side in utterly a few cinema taken in a late 2000s, that implies that he played a distinguished purpose in a SSJO. Having survived a explosion, he is not usually a unchanging guest during ceremonies commemorating Moghaddam nonetheless was also interviewed for several documentaries about Moghaddam, in that his face was rather insufficiently censored. One of these documentaries gave his name as Hashem Nouri. Apart from Jafari, several other high-ranking IRGC officials were benefaction during a revisit including IRGC-ASF commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh and IRGC Deputy Coordinator Jamaloddin Aberoumand.

So when accurately did a revisit take place? Again, there are cues in a cinema expelled by Khabar Online. One of these photographs shows Moghaddam and a organisation exiting one of a hangars with another hangar manifest in a background. Both buildings are connected by panels. Satellite cinema uncover that a paneling between dual buildings was usually finished between Jul and Sep 2011. Therefore, a revisit contingency have taken place between Jul and Nov 12, 2011. This date operation sounds plausible. After all, a high-profile investigation revisit would substantially breakwater taken place after vital reformation of a bottom was completed.

When asked about Moghaddam, one of Jafari’s favorite articulate points is his rather thespian final assembly with Moghaddam in that a latter happily announced that had finished a growth of all simple technologies indispensable for his vital project. According to Jafari a assembly took place usually 10 days before Moghaddam’s death. In one of a many documentaries about Iran’s ‘Missile Father’ Jafari again recounts a assembly nonetheless this time mentions that around one month before pronounced assembly he had attended a exam together with Moghaddam.

The revisit described by Jafari would fit a time support in that a photographs were taken. With several incomparable immobile exam stands for solid-fuel motors located South-East of Shahid Modarres Garrison (35.541743° 50.835197° and 35.551417° 50.840509°) Jafari attending a engine exam during his investigation seems probable and even expected (when a trainer arrives we wanna have something to uncover for a money). Nevertheless, there is too small information to infer that a revisit Jafari recalls is indeed a one shown by a pictures.

The story of Jafari’s revisit doesn’t finish here, though. Enter Instagram. One of a few amicable media sites not blocked by Iranian authorities, a food and beach pattern service, has turn a undoubted stadium for typical Iranian citizens, politicians and, until their vast deplatforming in 2019, a IRGC. On a arise of Moghaddam’s martyrdom anniversary in Nov 2018, Jafari’s now gone comment posted nonetheless another pattern of his 2011 revisit to Shahid Modarres Garrison.

Jafari’s mirrored flier sunglasses not usually demeanour fanciful on him nonetheless also concede us to locate a belligerent perspective of what is substantially a many engaging partial of a Shahid Modarres Garrison. (35.624581° 50.872523°)

This territory of a facility, assembled in 2010, has been a sold obession for me and my colleagues during CNS. Not usually was it a site of extraordinary activities involving a rail-movable hangar, cranes and immeasurable cylindrical objects, nonetheless satellite cinema also prove it was a epicenter of a 2011 explosion.

Indeed, during a commemorative rite during what stays of a facility, a print was erected during a corner of a void where a cylindrical intent used to be located, imprinting it as a ‘Place of a ascent of Martyrs.’

My co-worker Michael Duitsman was a initial to think that a site competence be a immeasurable casting array with a moveable superstructure. Dave Schmerler, immediately famous a parallels to a identical designation during a Shahroud bottom (36.234377° 55.283994°). A similar, despite many larger, arrangement during Lantian is used for a prolongation of China’s humongous new plain space boosters. (34.210870° 109.182946°)

This leaves us with a final doubt because a Iranians would uncover us this pattern during this prove in time. A small OPSEC disaster seems unlikely, generally as a heading privately mentions that Moghaddam is manifest in a reflection. Perhaps they simply looked for another pattern restraining Jafari to Moghaddam and didn’t caring many about a context. But perhaps, usually perhaps, they wish to send us a vigilance that while strictly being committed to a 2000km limit, they are able of building many most incomparable toys.

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