Egypt seizes Bab el Mandeb ahead of Iran. Saudis bomb Iran-backed Yemeni Houthis. US launches air strikes over Tikrit
DEBKAfile Special Report March 26, 2015
In a surprise step, Egyptian forces Thursday morning, March 26, seized control of the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Straits to pre-empt Tehran’s grab for this important energy shipping gateway between the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal, debkafile reports. It rounded off the just-launched Saudi-led air strikes against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, signaling a 10-nation Sunni Arab revolt against Iran’s approaching takeover of Yemen and other Mid East positions with Washington’s support, and coinciding with the first US air strikes over Tikrit in aid of Iran.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 24, 2015
Yet another Obama administration thrust in its campaign to stigmatize Binyamin Netanyahu and Israel came Tuesday, March 24, as a pejorative leak to The Wall Street Journal, which reported: “Israeli intelligence was eavesdropping on closed-door nuclear negotiations between Iran and the US, then passing the classified information along to the US Congress." debkafile: The WSJ story means that the Obama administration failed to keep its promise to update Israel about the nuclear talks with Iran, and so Israel needed to activate spies to learn about US concessions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 21, 2015
President Barack Obama failed to shift French President France Hollande from his objections to the nuclear accord taking shape between the US and Iran in the call he put through to the Elysée Friday night, March 30. US Secretary of State John Kerry fared no better Saturday, when he met the British, French and German Foreign ministers in London to line the Europeans up behind the American position. Germany balked too. France wants Tehran first to account for evidence of past development work on a nuclear warhead design. Tehran will never admit this.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2015
debkafile’s exclusive Iranian sources report that the delegation to the nuclear talks in Lausanne were ordered by Tehran Friday, March 20, to break off the deadlocked negotiations and return home for consultations. Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Zarif used the funeral of President Hassan Rouhani's 90-year-old mother as a pretext for packing their bags and quitting. Russia’s Sergei Ryabkov said gaps remain on the length of an agreement, the pace of sanctions relief and international monitoring, with no chance of an accord before June 30.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 19, 2015
Israel is bracing for US penalties after Netanyhau’s re-election for a fourth term and refusal to go along with Obama’s policies on Iran and the Palestinians.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 14, 2015
Yitzhak Herzog, co-leader of the opposition Zionist Camp party, is tabbed by the polls as Binyamin Netanyahu’s credible successor. However, the same credibility does not extend to his four pledges to the voter ahead of the March 17 election - though sincere. If elected, Herzog vowed in his first 100 days as prime minister to lead the campaign to bring down the prohibitive cost of housing; mend Israel’s relations with the United States, i.e. Barack Obama; revive peace talks with the Palestinians; and create a “regional platform” for Israel’s foreign relations.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 12, 2015
Disaffection with US-Iranian nuclear diplomacy has spilled over into the Iranian street and raised hackles too in Moscow, Berlin, Paris and Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 7, 2015
US and Israeli intelligence agencies sharply disagree on the time Iran needs for breakout to a bomb. The Americans cite one year between a decision by Tehran to cross from nuclear threshold to nuclear bomb – enough time for preventive action; the Israelis say much less and, anyway, US and Israeli can’t be sure to catch the Iranians at it in time to stop its advance to a nuclear weapon. Saudi Arabia, fellow Gulf States and Egypt are no more convinced than Israel that the one-year timeline is realistic.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2015
Obama and Netanyahu will continue to bicker amid uncertainty about whether Khamenei will actually sign the done nuclear deal between US and Iranian negotiators.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2015
The Turkish and Pakistani prime ministers have worked on details of nuclear-sharing and military collaboration among the three Sunni powers initiated by Saudi King Salman to counter Iran’s drive for Shiite domination.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 4, 2015
Barack Obama’s Iran policy, spectacularly challenged by Binyamin Netanyahu in his Congress speech Tuesday, March 3, is manifested 10,000 kilometers from Washington, in the Iranian-led Iraqi battle for Tikrit. Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff commented that day that the “Tikrit campaign… the most overt conduct of Iranian support …could turn out to be a positive thing.” debkafile: This US-Iranian partnership, which is mirrored in Syria, is alarming Israeli military chiefs because it brings the Iranian peril closer than ever before.
In his US Congress speech, Netanyahu did not urge scrapping nuclear accord – only making it a lot tougher for Iran
DEBKAfile Special Report March 3, 2015
In the 40-minute speech Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered to a joint session of the US Congress Tuesday, May 3, he listed the iniquities of the “dark, dictatorial Islamic regime” in Tehran, and criticized the nuclear deal in negotiation as marking the “countdown to a nuclear nightmare” that would threaten not just Israel but the world. He proposed “making it better” by confronting Iran with three provisos: Give up aggression and state-sponsored terror and stop threatening Israel with annihilation. His speech to a packed chamber was interrupted by 40 standing ovations and long cheers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 3, 2015
What Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has not spelled out in his unrelenting campaign against a deal that would allow Iran nuclear threshold status is this scenario: It would leave Tehran the freedom to choose when to build a single nuclear bomb or device, that could be dropped over the Mediterranean from a civilian airliner and trigger a tsumani for wiping out the Tel Aviv conurbation. The giant wave would kill an estimated one million people and wipe out the Israeli heartland, financial and business centers, military headquarters and hi-tech industry.
Netanyahu tries to head off Iran’s machinations after Obama empowers Tehran as favored Mid East ally
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 1, 2015
Almost the last words Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu heard Sunday, March 1, when he took off for Washington to address Congress on Iran was: “Don’t do it!” They came from a group of 180 ex-IDF military officers who tried to stop the speech lest it damage relations with the US. debkafile: Their protest should be addressed to the White House where, for six years, Barack Obama has eroded those relations. Netanyahu’s speech is just a tardy attempt to check Iran’s malignant machinations which go forward without restraint.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 26, 2015
Binyamin Netanyahu is fighting against a nuclear-armed Iran because of its plan to desolate the Israeli heartland and drown a million Israelis by means of a tsunami triggered by a single nuclear bomb dropped in mid-Meterranean.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 22, 2015
The US and Iran are in a last-ditch effort to rescue their nuclear diplomacy before it falls into deep crisis. Some observers say the talks are beyond saving. The Obama administration may have hit the limit of its concessions; and Iran won’t give way on centrifuges and enriched uranium stocks. debkafile finds the US, Iran and Israel in a three-way race, each aiming for a different finishing line. Washington wants a nuclear deal in the bag by March 31; Tehran aims for June; while Binyamin Netanyahu nixes the existing US-Iranian draft.
Information about the US-Iranian nuclear dialogue is no longer “sensitive.” For Obama it’s a done deal
DEBKAfile Special Report February 17, 2015
Accusing Binyamin Netanyahu of leaking “sensitive” information on US nuclear negotiations with Iran skews the fact of an almost done deal between US President Barack Obama and Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani. It wants only Iran’s paramount leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei endorsement. In attempting to bring him round, Washington is using media spin tactics which Netanyahu’s opponents have seized on to accuse him of sabotaging relations with Washington. Netanyahu is not alone in objecting to Obama’s Iran policy. So too do the Saudis, some Gulf emirates and Egypt.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 12, 2015
Fighting ISIS is Part II of Obama’s master plan, which is to first give Iran major concessions on a nuclear deal and a free rein in the Middle East – then dump the Islamist war in the ayatollahs’ laps.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 12, 2015
As Iran’s Rev Guards go from strength to strength and dominate four Mid East cities, they are pushing ever harder for a full-scale nuclear weapon. Supreme leader Khamenei has not yet said the last word on a nuclear deal with the US.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 5, 2015
Obama has made six big concessions that would let Iran acquire the status of pre-nuclear power. However, the supreme leader and Revolutionary Guards must approve the deal.