DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 1, 2008
debkafile's Iranian sources report that, 18 days before parliamentary elections to the majlis, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for the first time threw all his weight and authority behind his country's nuclear program and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. His words clearly celebrated the failure of the United States, the West at large and Israel to thwart Tehran's nuclear ambitions.
Tuesday, Feb 26, the supreme ruler told Iranian officials:
"One example of an advance by the Islamic system has been the nuclear issue, in which the Iranian nation has honestly and seriously won a great victory."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 26, 2008
This work links uranium processing, high explosives tests and designs for a missile warhead, the Vienna-based UN nuclear watchdog said Friday, Feb. 22, in a report on which a decision on a third round of UN Security Council sanctions depends.
"Iran had shown new openness" about earlier nuclear advances, said the report, "but not enough to prove its program is not geared to making bombs."
The report also confirmed Iran was testing technology that "could give it the means to enrich uranium much faster - in further defiance of demands to halt all sensitive nuclear activity or be hit with wider U.N. sanctions.
Ahmadinejad's unbridled attack on Israel causes foreboding. Ashkenazi sees "tough ordeal" possible soon
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 26, 2008
debkafile's military sources report that the increasingly belligerent statements issuing from top Iranian leaders since the death of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus earlier this month are seen as betokening serious intent.
Israel's chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi told graduating officers Wednesday, Feb. 20, that he could not rule out a possible "tough ordeal" in the near future.
President Ahmadinejad said Wed. Feb. 20: "World powers have created a black and dirty microbe named the Zionist regime and unleashed it like a savage animal on the nations of the region."
Also Wednesday, exiled Iranian opposition leader Mohammad Mohaddessin claimed Tehran had accelerated its nuclear weapons program, including the production of nuclear warheads.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2008
Israel's UN ambassador Danny Gillerman says Israel is losing patience with the wishy-washy reports delivered by Mohammed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, on Iran's nuclear work.
Wednesday, Feb. 20, Mohammad Mohaddessin,of the exiled Iranian National Council of Resistance, warned that the Iranian regime had accelerated its nuclear weapons program, including the production of nuclear warheads. He told a news conference that Tehran had established its first command and control center to work on a nuclear bomb and was setting up a center to produce warheads southeast of the capital.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Rival Iranian and Israeli security teams vie for control of Mughniyeh killing's military backlash<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2008
Hizballah forces went on a state of preparedness in S. Lebanon Saturday, Feb. 16, while the US embassy and its Beirut centers were ordered to be on their guard for attacks, keep a low profile and refrain from using their cell phones.
Our intelligence sources report that Gen. Ghassem Soleimani, chief of the IRGC's al Qods Brigades, heads Iranian team, as well an urgent probe of the killing, while Mossad chief Meir Dagan directs the Israeli command center.
With Tehran gunning for Israel in pursuit of revenge for one of its own, the two duelists are locked in a high-tension battle of wits to control the next steps.
Some circles in the US postulate that the master of deception may have faked his death to provide Iran, Syria and Hizballah with a pretext for attacking Israel.
Read more about the latest developments in the Mughniyeh case in debkafile's Exclusive Report below.
Syria vows to strike back at Israel for Imad Mughniyeh's killing in Damascus and "repeated encroachments"<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 21, 2008
debkafile's military sources report: Thursday night, Feb. 14, Syrian officials fanned out among Arab broadcasting stations with a warning: Damascus will attack Israel shortly following a decision by Syrian leaders to end its policy of restraint against its territorial violations.
Israeli land, sea, air and homeland defense units were earlier ordered to prepare to defend the country's northern borders against attacks by Hizballah, including rocket strikes, and Syria. Reinforcements were rushed to the north.
Since Wednesday night, according to our sources, a visiting Iranian team of investigators has been hard at work in the Syrian capital to identify the Mughniyeh's killers. It is headed by Gen. Ghassem Soleimani, commander of the al Qods Brigades, the Revolutionary Guards foreign terror arm.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 20, 2008
President Ahmadinejad said Wed. Feb. 20: "World powers have created a black and dirty microbe named the Zionist regime and unleashed it like a savage animal on the nations of the region." He was addressing a rally in the southern city of Bandar Abbas broadcast by state television.
debkafile: His diatribe came two days after the Revolutionary Guards chief Mohammad Ali Jafari, in an earlier attack, declared the Lebanese Hizballah would destroy Israel in the near future.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 16, 2008
Diplomats accredited to the nuclear watchdog in Vienna told AP Wednesday that ten IR-1 centrifuges were operating with minute amounts of gas. Russia warned Iran that its development of rockets and continued uranium enrichment created the impression that Tehran was intentionally ignoring the concerns of the international community.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Reports: In a coordinated U-turn, US and Russia both treat Iran's space launch as attesting to a nuclear weapons program
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 11, 2008
Wednesday, Feb. 6, Moscow followed Washington in voicing concern that the launch of Iran's Safir-1 space rocket Monday, Feb. 4, attested to the existence of a nuclear weapons program. This diametrically contradicts the US National Intelligence Estimate of last December, which concluded Iran had shelved its covert military nuclear program in 2003.
Moscow too has evidently abandoned its persistent denial of evidence that Tehran is developing a nuclear bomb.
Moscow shares Washington's concern: Iranian space rocket raises suspicion over its nuclear program<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 6, 2008
Russian Deputy Foreign minister Alexander Losyukov commented Wednesday, Feb. 6, that Monday's test launch of Iran's "Safir-1 (Explorer-1) was "of course a cause for concern." Long-range missiles are components of a nuclear weapons system.
The Russian official followed the White House spokeswoman who spoke of worry about Iran's "space" missile. Such technology, said Dana Perino, is the same as that needed to deliver a nuclear bomb.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Iran launches first space research rocket Safir 1<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 6, 2008
The Safir (Emissary) was launched into space Monday, Feb. 4, on top of the improved Shahab-3 which has a 4,000 km range. debkafile's military sources report that the Iranian launch was Tehran's rejoinder to Israel's test of a new long-range missile propulsion engine on Jan. 17. Western experts reported at the time that Israel's newly-powered missiles could reach "any point on earth."
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> reports: Rev Guards chief threatens retaliation against US Gulf bases if Iran is attacked, missiles for Israel<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 2, 2008
In a recent interview, Gen. Mohammad Ali Jaafari, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards, said: "Despite the U.S. military's supremacy in air power and advanced electronic equipment, Iran can counter any attack just like the Hezballah forces that defeated the region's most advanced and best-equipped military in the 33-day war against the Zionist regime."
The IRGC general said should Israel participate in an American attack, it will be exposed to danger from states [a hint at Iran's ally Syria] and Muslims [i.e. Hizballah and the Palestinians] in the region. "Our resources and the range of our missiles cover Israel, and "all of occupied Palestine [namely, Israel's West Bank communities and bases] is exposed to danger.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 28, 2008
DEBKA-Net-Weekly 328 first revealed on Dec. 7 that a Washington-Tehran understanding is in the making, brokered by Saudi Arabia. According to Washington and intelligence sources, the first steps of the dialogue were made possible by the US National Intelligence Estimate of Dec. 3 affirming that Iran's nuclear weapons program had been put on hold in 2003. This public statement effectively took the US military option off the table, as stipulated by Riyadh and Tehran.
To subscribe to DEBKA-Net-Weekly click DEBKA-Net-Weekly.com?ref=001">HERE.
The Saudis have been offering to mediate the US-Iranian dispute since the beginning of 2007. In early November, DEBKA-Net-Weekly disclosed, the White House announced it was ready to deal.
Saudi and American sources told debkafile that President George W. Bush used the Annapolis conference as a piece of theater, which presented a sham moderate Arab front against Iran to disguise the intense work underway on a Saudi-mediated accommodation between Washington and Tehran.
debkafile's sources disclose that Iran's extremist president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad began purging the Iranian leadership of his opponents, emboldened by what he perceived as the victory of the intransigent nuclear policy he and the Revolutionary Guards had pursued.
For Israel, the impact is more radical than a few rumbles. Its special relationship with the United States has collapsed amid its worst foreign policy debacle in decades. The Olmert government is paying the price for the military and diplomatic mismanagement of the war against Lebanon's Hizballah of 2006.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Reports: Iran exploits Pakistan turmoil for nuclear and diplomatic momentum - with no fear of sanctions <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2008
Iran's foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki Monday, Dec. 31, landed a new bombshell: Iran's first nuclear reactor would be launched in mid-2008 - six months before Moscow's end-of-year timeline.
Tehran's former nuclear negotiator Ali Larijani has spent 10 days in Cairo laying the ground for the resumption of relations. When US president George W. Bush's Middle East tour begins in just over a week, he will find a complicated new relations structure in the making between Iran and Egypt and other parts of the region.
Moscow denies deal to sell anti-air, anti-missile S-300 to Iran, sends second shipment of nuclear fuel to Bushehr<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 30, 2007
Iranian defense minister Mostafa Mohammad Najjar announced Wednesday, Dec. 26 that he and a visiting Russian delegation had just signed a contract for the supply of another Russian anti-air weapon, the highly sophisticated S-300, rated the most effective killer of ballistic missiles on the market.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 27, 2007
The group of 40 traveled secretly through a third transit country to evade Iranian restrictions on travel to Israel. A Jewish Agency official said the immigrants, most from Tehran, Shiraz and Isfahan, had abandoned their property and possessions in Iran to conceal their departure. More than 200 Iranian Jews moved to Israel in 2007, up from 65 in 2006. Iran's Jewish community is estimated to number 25-28,000, dating
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Iran cheers US intelligence reassessment of nuclear arms threat
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 8, 2007
Iran's nuclear negotiator, Dep. FM Saeed Jalili's trip to Moscow Tuesday, Dec. 4. for talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin, capitalizes on the breakthrough the US has offered Tehran. The shock waves from the US intelligence report that Iran had put its bid for a nuclear bomb on hold in 2003, in contradiction of its 2005 assessment, are already touching other countries as well.
Our sources add that, contrary to the assurances emanating from Jerusalem, the entire sanctions edifice is in danger of toppling, including Washington's push for a third round of penalties for Iran at the UN Security Council.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Reports: Two surfaced Iranian Kilo-class submarines spotted in Persian Gulf by US warship<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 5, 2007
The USS Vicksburg cruiser tracked and photographed the Iranian Russian-designed diesel-electric attack subs some weeks ago. There was no communication between them. debkafile's military sources report that this was the first time US warships have run into a par of surfaced Iranian subs.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, Iranian Navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari claimed it was expanding its sub fleet, including a new home-built small submarine called Ghadir, equipped with sonar-evading technology.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 4, 2007
The US National Intelligence Estimate released Monday said Iran had put its bid for a nuclear bomb on hold in 2003. Reiterating that Tehran never had plans to build atomic weapons, FM Manouchehr Mottaki welcomed the reassessment by the countries with questions in the past, who "have now amended their views realistically."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 3, 2007
In a radical about-face, White House officials suddenly "discovered" Monday, Dec. 3, that Iran had halted it nuclear weapons program four years ago, but has continued to enrich uranium and could have enough material to build a bomb between 2010 and 2015. This "discovery" appeared in the latest National Intelligence Estimate, together with the comment that Iran seems less determined to develop nuclear arms than previously believed and is more vulnerable to international pressure.
This finding caused astonishment and dismay in Israeli political and military circles, particularly in the light of the close Israel-US rapport over last week's Annapolis conference on the Middle East and the close Olmert-Livni-Barak lineup behind the Bush vision of Palestinian statehood.
debkafile's sources in Israel: In effect, Washington has taken the military option off the table at the very moment that Tehran's Said Jalili slammed the door on diplomacy in the "disastrous" conversation he held with the European Union's Javier Solana in London, Saturday, Dec. 1.