Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at Columbia University, New York, demonstrates the futility of attempts at US-Iranian dialogue <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 28, 2007
The Iranian president, clearly enjoying every moment of the uproar he provoked in American discourse, parried the tough questions posed him at the end of his speech to 600 students and faculty Monday, Sept. 24, by throwing questions back, longwinded evasions and barefaced lies.
Even though Columbia University President Lee Bollinger greeted the Iranian visitor as "a cruel and petty tyrant and terrorist," there his no gainsaying that he granted a coveted platform to a world figure who abused it to disseminate a creed which preaches the superiority of the Iranian race, culture and religion and whose highest objective is the downfall of Big Satan America and Little Satan Israel.
Uproar in America over Columbia University's platform for Ahmadinejad Monday, followed by his UN General Assembly address Tuesday<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 25, 2007
Angry protests and demonstrations challenge Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's admittance to America while he and his government deny the holocaust, threaten the United States and Israel, develop a nuclear weapon, send weapons to Iraq insurgents to kill US troops, foster terror and are guilty of harsh repressive practices at home.
debkafile reports: The outcry is exactly what the Iranian president aims to provoke by his public relations stunt in issuing peaceable-sounding statements in America in sharp contrast to the rhetoric sounded in Tehran and its violent actions in the region. He told the CBS Iran Sunday night that Iran does not need a nuclear bomb.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 23, 2007
Iran's suspect nuclear program is further polarizing the big powers.
As American and European officials discussed a third round of UN Security Council sanctions, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, more pugnacious than ever, addressed a military parade Sat. Sept. 22 marking the 27th anniversary of the onset of the Iraq-Iran war of the eighties.
The French president Nicolas Sarkozy meanwhile stands shoulder to shoulder with President George W. Bush. Friday, Sept. 21, he said: "Iran is trying to obtain an atomic bomb. That is unacceptable and I tell the French people it is unacceptable."
A week ago, French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner warned that the world faced war if diplomacy and sanctions failed to curb Iran's nuclear activities.
But Vladimir Putin pulled in the opposite direction from his two fellows in the UN Security Council when he decided to be the first Russian president to visit Tehran on Oct. 16. The visit, in the framework of the Caspian Asian Summit, is planned to encompass much more than state ceremonial and ritual photo-ops, although there will be plenty of that too.
He will be on hand to underscore Moscow's concern and conviction that the last two or three months of 2007 will take the controversy over the Iranian nuclear program to crisis point and could determine whether or not America resorts to the military option.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 22, 2007
Deputy air force commander Mohammad Alawi said Wednesday that Iran has a plan to bomb Israel in the event of "possible foolishness" by "the Jewish state" in staging a military attack against the Islamic Republic. Iranian bombers can retaliate against Israeli soil, he said. "In addition to our missiles, whose range covers the whole soil of this regime, we can attack them with our fighter jets on their soil.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Iran's claim to have 600 Shehab-3 missiles pointed at Israel and US targets in Iraq is bluff
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 22, 2007
debkafile's military sources assert that Iran does not have as many as 600 Shehab-3 missiles capable of a simultaneous barrage - as threatened on an Iranian Web site Monday - nor sufficient launchers to fire that number. The threatening statement followed the French foreign minister Bernard Kouchner's warning Sunday, Sept. 17 that in view of Iran's nuclear crisis, the world must "prepare for the worst, and the worst is war."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 17, 2007
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Tehran seizes initiative for patching up Palestinian feud to steal show from Washington's Middle East diplomacy<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 8, 2007
Thursday, Sept 6, Iran's president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will receive the heads of 10 Palestinian factions in Tehran, among them Hamas' Khaled Meshaal, Jihad Islami's Abdullah Shelah and, most important of all, Fatah's radical politburo chief Farouk Kadoumi.
debkafile's counter-terror sources report this will be the first time Hamas and Fatah representatives sit down at the same table since the former grabbed the Gaza Strip from the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority three months ago. It will also be a feather in Iran's cap.
Ahmadinejad claims Iran has achieved 3,000 working centrifuges for enriching uranium - gainsaying a much lower UN assessment<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 5, 2007
debkafiles sources: The Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest claim Sunday, Sept 2, that Iran's nuclear industry had 3,000 centrifuges up and running - and was "installing a new cascade every week" - means that Tehran has overcome the technical hitches which long held up self-production of the P2 centrifuges.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 4, 2007
The minister was answering questions from listeners to the Israeli Broadcasting Service's Farsi program Monday night, Aug. 27. Avigdor Lieberman said Israel is extending aid to those opposition organizations which are proving effective. He is therefore the first member of the Israeli government to expose the clandestine war gaining ground between Israel and Iran in recent weeks, say debkafile's sources.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 28, 2007
Mayor of Choman Abdul Wahid Gwany said they crossed in 10 places, traveling some 5 km into the mountain region and bombing villages as they drove. Some villagers were killed. debkafile adds: The apparent targets were Iranian Kurdish rebels, members of PJAK, who are reported holed up in mountain havens in this part of Iraqi Kurdistan.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 21, 2007
The RG commander Yahya Rahim Safavi said Wednesday that Iran's 2,000km range missiles (capable of reaching Israel) could now be remote controlled. debkafile's military sources interpret this as a reference to Shahab-3 missiles kept in hiding places, even possibly outside Iran, which can be operated at a distance from Tehran.
Safavi also said his RG ground forces had missiles that could penetrate the armor plating fitted to Israel's Merkava and US Abrams tanks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 12, 2007
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Buoyed up by the triumphs of Hizballah's war offensive against Israel in 2006 and Hamas' takeover of Gaza, the clerical rulers of Tehran have invested so heavily in their expanding power structure across the region that a fiasco could push their regime and military prop, the fierce Revolutionary Guards, into a perilous slide at home. To play it safe, DEBKA-Net-Weekly's Iran sources reveal they have hatched a plan to replace the vacillating figure in Damascus with a puppet at their beck and call, modeled on Hizballah's Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut.
Thus far, Assad has not strayed too far from the guidelines he and his Iranian allies laid down together, but Tehran can never be sure when he might swerve from the straight and narrow to make his peace with the Americans. The can only guarantee Syria stays in their pockets by installing a pro-Iran loyalist in the presidential palace in Damascus.
Moscow to withhold fuel rods from near-completed Bushehr atomic reactor unless Iran comes clean on suspicious activities<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 7, 2007
This is reported by a European diplomatic in Vienna. A US official told AP that Moscow is dragging its feet on commitments for activating the reactor to pressure Tehran into more compliance with UN Security Council demands on activities suspected of links to a weapons program.
debkafile: Whenever UN sanctions loom, Tehran goes through limited motions for meeting international demands, without however giving ground on the key requirement to forego uranium enrichment.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 1, 2007
Tehran and the Russian Rosoboronexport arms group are about to sign a mammoth arms deal for the sale to Tehran of 250 Su-30MKM warplanes and 20 IL-78 MKI fuel tankers. debkafile's military sources report Iran has stipulated delivery of the first aircraft before the end of 2007.
There is no decision in Jerusalem about asking Paris to withhold its consent to a deal which would substantially upgrade the long-range air assault capabilities of the Islamic Republic. However, President Nicolas Sarkozy is in mid-momentum of a diplomatic drive in the Arab and Muslim world and unlikely to be receptive to an Israeli approach. The only chance of aborting the Russian sale would be to route the approach through Washington.
"This summer will see Muslim victories in the region and the defeat of our enemies!" - Ahmadinejad in Damascus<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 25, 2007
The Iranian president trumpeted Iran's intentions for the Middle East when he arrived in Damascus Thursday, July 19. debkafile's Middle East sources reveal that behind the braggadocio, his conversation with Iran's closest ally, Syrian president Bashar Assad, was acrimonious. In fact, he warned Assad he had better stop signaling his willingness for peace talks with Israel because this behavior was hampering Iran's plans for a war this summer.
Ahmadinejad had an easier time with the heads of eight of the nine Palestinian terrorist leaders hosted in the Syrian capital. With them he was upbeat.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Ahmadinejad follows up Damascus talks with a council of war in Tehran Friday with Hizballah, Hamas and Jihadi Islami leaders<b
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 22, 2007
Our Iranian and intelligence sources reveal that the Iranian president flew out of Damascus Thursday with this group saying: "I prefer cooler places but this region faces a torrid summer of victories."
The most urgent decision facing the Iran-Syrian alliance concerns Lebanon and how far they can go to get rid of the pro-Western Siniora government in Beirut.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: UN watchdog helps Iran win another 6 months' grace period for its nuclear weapons program
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 18, 2007
IAEA chief Mohamed ElBaradei is still willing to give Tehran the benefit of the doubt, although he still cannot say for sure Tehran's nuclear program is peaceful or even half transparent. The director of the International Atomic Energy Agency hailed "as a way out of the crisis", Iran's belated permission for "one visit" to the Arak water reactor and "improved inspections" at Natanz.
Tehran's latest maneuvers are in character, the usual ploys for buying time for a free run to its weapons target, as debkafile's Iranian sources reveal in an Exclusive Report below.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 14, 2007
This week, Iran's soft-soap campaign on its nuclear program won valuable support from the heads of the international Atomic Energy Agency, even though the UN watchdog still cannot determine that Iran's nuclear activities are transparent or peaceful.
Even after listening for four years to Tehran's evasions, untruths and prevarications on its nuclear intentions, IAEA director Mohamed ElBaradei Friday, July 13, was still willing to hail Iran's grudging permission for "one visit" to its Arak water reactor and "improved inspections" at Natanz as a "way out of the crisis."
But although it is full of holes for the monitors, the deal struck with nuclear watchdog is a diplomatic breakthrough for Tehran. It is enough to arm the sanctions opponents in the UN Security Council with arguments to hold off a third round of punitive measures against Iran for persisting in its refusal to abandon uranium enrichment. Tehran has won an uninterrupted space up until December 2007 for its last stretch on the road to its objective.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 9, 2007
debkafile's Iran sources reveal that Fatah and Hamas representatives have launched secret talks to patch up their quarrel. Their first session took place in Stockholm Sunday, July 8, under the guiding hands of the Iranian and Saudi ambassadors.
Hamas sent operations chief Imad al Alami from Damascus to face Eugine Makhloof ,the PLO ambassador in Sweden, who is acting on behalf of Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah.
But before sitting down to the talks, the Hamas official first checked in with Iranian leaders in Tehran to make sure their agendas dovetailed.
With war clouds hanging over the region this summer, said the Iranian foreign minister Manouchehr Mottaki, Palestinian unity is the order of the day, essential to the Iranian-Syrian-Hizballah bloc as a strategic asset in its coming conflict with the US and Israel.
The same advice came from UAE president Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayan to visiting Mahmoud Abbas when they met Sunday. The Fatah leader was persuaded to lose no time in mending Palestinian factional fences.
The US military allows Iranian diplomats first visit to five Iranians detained by US forces in January <br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 9, 2007
Six months ago, the five were taken into custody in Irbil, in northern Iraqi Kurdistan and charged with being Revolutionary Guards agents working with Iraqi insurgents. Iran insists they are diplomats. Iran's ambassador Hassan Kazemi-Qomi said the visit which lasted several hours was "a step forward and positive."
debkafile: Washington is trying to draw Tehran into another round of talks on Iraq as the sequel to the first two that were held earlier this year in Baghdad and Sharm al-Sheikh. Iran is playing hard to get, suspecting the US overture is a ruse to lead attention away from American plans to attack the Islamic Republic.