OSINT Research: Iranian Nuclear Program
By Jason Hines on December 29, 2010
Be sure to read our follow up post including the UN Report which was published shortly after this posting.
The Iranian nuclear program has a long history (starting in the 1970s) and is clouded in secrecy and drama. Here we will demonstrate how Recorded Future can be used for OSINT analysis of the program.
To start, we create a watchlist of Iranian nuclear facilities – using the new Watchlist functionality in Recorded Future. This can be used to quickly find relationships between facilities, people involved in them, related events, etc.
With that we can easily review 2010 for all known Iranian nuclear facilities – and for example find a major peak around August 21 – when the Bushehr reactor was first loaded with fuel rods – Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi said August 21 was: “a day to remember in the fluctuating history of Bushehr Nuclear Power Plant.”
With that we might be curious – who else has made comments around the Iranian nuclear facilities? This could be potentially people worth tracking. By exploring the network of Iranian Nuclear Facilities (using our watchlist) we can see the auto generated network, as well as drill into an particular node of it.
We might get interested in Sergei Kiriyenko who has a prominent role in the network – and do a follow-up question on Quotation Sergei Kiriyenko to find interesting comments by him on the Bushehr facility – and we find this:
Given that we might look for any comments regarding the future of Iranian nuclear facilities and find for example Ali Akbar Salehi commenting on Bushehr being at full pace in March of 2011.
We can extend this to look for future indications into end of 2012 re: Iranian nuclear facilities.
Exploring the network around the Bushehr facility we realize there’s a prominent harbor there – and drill into the network around that.
We find people like Ali Akbar Salehi (head of Iranian nuclear program) – perhaps obvious. We find Mohammad Rastad (head of the port) who’s more interesting – and drilling into him we find an interesting connection to Germany – a country that had early involvment in the Iranian nuclear program.
Mehr News Agency quoted Mohammad Rastad as saying, “Hansa India is 243 meters long and 32 meters wide and is the second-largest ship ever entering this port and holds the highest number of containers among ships landing in Bushehr.” Hansa India has been hired by Germany and is registered in Hamburg, he added.”
Likewise we find an interesting connection to Vladimir Putin in the network.
This originates from this article – “Iran is entitled to peaceful use of nuclear energy under international supervision. Sergei Kiriyenko said at a meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin that the uranium fuel will be loaded into the reactor in Iran’s southern port of Bushehr on Saturday.”
Analyzing a an entire government program, such as the Iranian nuclear program, is very complex. Open sources can be very helpful, but the broad spectrum of entities to cover: facilities, people, companies, technologies, are large. Recorded Future’s watchlist functionality combined with temporal and network queries can make a big difference.
Sound like something you’re interested in? Contact our Federal Team today!