DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 7, 2009
In a sudden about-turn, Iran released five British yachtsmen Wednesday, Dec. 2, a week after their capture off the Persian Gulf island of Sirri. They were towed into international waters and arrived in Dubai later that afternoon.
debkafile's Iranian sources report that this was one of the few instances in which Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei overruled president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2009
Reduced Iranian cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency is the least of the troubles Tehran has in store for the West. debkafile's counter-terror sources report that Iran Sunday, Nov. 29, moved toward a military confrontation with the United Sates and Britain when its parliament earmarked $20 million to support "progressive currents which resist US and UK illegal activities." Its next gesture of defiance was the approval of 10 new uranium enrichment installations, with construction on five starting immediately.
Tehran is not waiting idly to be attacked.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 3, 2009
Tehran may well break off cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency-IAEA and withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty after the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors Friday, Nov. 27 approved a resolution voicing serious concern about its failure to comply with international obligations and referring the issue to the UN Security Council.
The White House commented that time is running out for Iran. A US official spoke of a "package of consequences" if Iran's non-compliance continues.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 2, 2009
Tehran is thinking in terms of prosecuting the five British yachtsmen seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards naval commandos on their way from Bahrain to Dubai last month. Tuesday, Dec. 1, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaie, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chief of staff said: "The judiciary will decide about the five... but naturally Iran will take hard and serious measures if we find out they had evil intentions."
debkafile's Iranian and intelligence sources report that the Iranians plan to claim that instruments for tracking aircraft, missiles and electronic jamming devices were found aboard their yacht.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 29, 2009
From the word go on Sunday, Nov. 22, Iran's five-day drill demonstrated that its air force and air defense units were unequal to their mission of keeping the skies over its nuclear sites clear of incoming strike aircraft, debkafile's military and Iranian sources report. In conditions of real war, therefore, Iran's atomic installations would be destroyed in the first hours of an attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 28, 2009
Iran launches its huge Modafean-e (Defenders) Aseman-e-Velayat air defense exercise Sunday, Nov. 22, to protect its nuclear sites, after failing to persuade Russia to deliver the linchpin of its air defenses, S-300 missiles.
Our sources report that, aside from the Russian-made Tor-M 1 short-range interceptor, Iran's air defense systems are outdated and pretty useless against US stealth bombers or the Israeli air force's electronic jamming instruments.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 27, 2009
debkafile's military sources report that the UN inspectors' October visit to Iran turned up dual-track progress in support of its nuclear weapons program: Feverish activity was registered in the production of plutonium at Isfahan as an alternative to the Fordo enriched uranium plant near Qom which starts up in 2011.
The IAEA experts discovered 30 metric tons-IS of heavy water hidden in 600 tanks, each holding 13 gallons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 20, 2009
The Iranians are frenziedly digging hundreds of new missile launch silos in central and Western Iran in readiness for a US or Israeli attack on their nuclear installations, debkafile's intelligence sources report. The Iranians are working at the same frantic tempo to turn out Shehab-3, Shehab-4 and Sajil-2 ballistic missiles, as well as a fourth secret ICBM which is believed designed to carry a nuclear warhead.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 19, 2009
The UN nuclear watchdog's report on its inspection of Iran's second uranium enrichment site near Qom says that Tehran's belated declaration of its existence raises questions about more still secret facilities. Iran claimed building of the Fordu facility had begun in 2007 and its notification to the IAEA was therefore timely. The inspectors in its still restricted report refute this claim after finding that work began five years earlier in 2002.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 17, 2009
Sources close to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna confirm that the four inspectors who visited the newly discovered Fordo site near Qom last month found a fortified underground installation designed especially for the production of highly-enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 16, 2009
Iran's parliament (Majlis) Sunday, Nov. 8, granted president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unlimited control of an estimated $30-50 billion of national treasure under legislation empowering him to cancel government subsidies on food and fuel.
debkafile's Iranian sources report that the president demanded the transfer of subsidy funding to the nation's nuclear and missile programs, preparations for war and measures to offset international sanctions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 14, 2009
Iran is ready to launch its second homemade spy satellite, with the Safir 2 rocket already in position on its pad, debkafile's military and intelligence sources report.
Its success would mean that Iran has attained solid fuel-powered rockets with a range of 2,450-2,450 kilometers, which covers not only all of Israel but reaches as far as the Polish capital of Warsaw. Tehran has also raised output at its uranium mine.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 11, 2009
debkafile's military and intelligence sources report that a mammoth arms train has been running to Hizballah for months via Egypt. They identify the ship which offloaded the arms shipment at the Egyptian port of Damietta, where it was picked up by the Francop as the Iranian Visea, which is now on its way from the British port of Felixtowe to Hamburg, Germany. An international operation is afoot to apprehend the Iranian ship as of Wednesday, Nov. 4, when Israeli naval forces commandeered the Francop near Cyprus with hundreds of tons of Iranian arms bound for the Lebanese Hizballah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2009
Israel's military intelligence chief Brig. Amos Yadlin revealed Tuesday, Nov. 3, that the Palestinian Hamas had successfully tested a new 60-km range Iranian shore-to-sea missile launching it west from the Gaza coast. When fired north overland, the missile could reach Tel Aviv. He revealed that Iranian arms were reaching Hizballah and Hamas through Syria and, for the first, time via Turkey.
debkafile's military sources identify the new missile in Hamas' arsenal as a C-802 of the Silkworm series, smuggled in with the help of Hizballah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2009
"We do not want any negotiation the result of which is predetermined by the United States," said Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in the clearest rejection yet of the world powers' UN-brokered proposal for Iran to ship three-quarters of its enriched uranium overseas for reprocessing.
"Whenever the U.S offers a smile, it hides a dagger in his back."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 3, 2009
Iran's ambassador to the IAEA, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Thursday, Oct. 29, submitted Iran's reply to the IAEA proposal endorsed by world powers providing for Iran to send three-quarters of its low-enriched uranium to Russia and France for conversion into nuclear fuel. Its contents were not released by Tehran or the IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei. Five hours after he received it, ElBaradei produced a formula for airbrushing its negative content.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 2, 2009
The US Congressional Research Service reveals that Iran has helped Syria obtain "various forms of weapons of mass destruction" and missiles, as well as buying midget submarines - all from North Korea.
debkafile's military sources report that the North Korean miniature subs are capable of dropping small teams of commando forces on enemy shores, damaging large warships and mining the approaches of naval bases and harbors.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 31, 2009
Mounting opposition leaves only two leaders in favor of the UN-brokered plan for Iran to send most of its enriched uranium to Russia and France for further processing: US President Barack Obama and Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
European leaders call the Iranian counter-proposal "unacceptable." Ahmadinejad issues a veiled threat as Tehran lawmakers reject plan as "out of the question."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 31, 2009
Four International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors were due in Tehran Sunday, Oct. 25 for their prearranged visit to the newly-discovered uranium enrichment facility near Qom. Aside from that inspection, not much else is left of the Obama administration's pursuit of engagement on Iran's nuclear program. Saturday, Majlis Speaker Ali Larijani threw out IAEA Director Mohamad ElBaradei's overseas enrichment plan the day after it was hailed by the big powers.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 29, 2009
Senior Iranian MP Alaeddin Boroujerd said Monday afternoon, Oct. 26 that the UN inspectors had carried out their mission to visit a newly-disclosed uranium enrichment plant and may leave Iran later in the day. debkafile's Iranian sources report that the nuclear watchdog team were supposed to have paid a second visit to the Fordu plant near Qom in the next two days after their first trip Sunday. So either the Iranians cut the inspectors' mission short or they were denied access to the suspected facility and aborted.