DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 2, 2012
Washington suspects Saudi Arabia and Israel have revived their intelligence cooperation. The Obama administration will bend over backwards to prevent Israel using Saudi or other Gulf bases for an attack on Iran, even to providing refueling planes for Israeli bombers conducting the attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 23, 2012
The US Pentagon and Israel’s high command are taking Tehran’s threat of preemptive action with the utmost seriousness as changing the rules of the standoff. It was issued to provide Iran with grounds for claiming international legitimacy for any preemptive military action launched against Israel or American targets as lawful self-defense.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 22, 2012
Tehran this week hardened its nuclear and military policies regardless of forthcoming international nuclear talks. The threat by Iran’s armed forces deputy chief Gen. Mohammad Hejazi of a preemptive strike against its “enemies,” was accompanied by its refusal to allow UN nuclear watchdog inspectors to visit the Parchin facility, following which the IAEA chief cut their mission short. The transfer of 20 percent uranium enrichment to Fordo is estimated to have shortened Iran’s race for weapons grade material to six weeks.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 19, 2012
Iran continues to behave as though it is calling the shots. The first formal announcement of the resumption of Iran-world powers nuclear talks (confirming debkafile’s exclusive) came from its Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Selahi who Sunday, Feb. 19, named the venue as Istanbul, Turkey. Saturday, two Iranian warships got away with delivering arms for Bashar Assad’s crackdown without US or Israeli interference. They docked at Tartus port Saturday alongside a Russian naval flotilla, symbolizing their joint effort to preserve Assad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 18, 2012
US President Barack Obama is convinced that the resumed international nuclear negotiations he has worked hard to set up will not only avert war but lay to rest once and for all the problem of Iran’s nuclear bomb program. But the imminence of Iranian talks with world powers has already had the negative effects of sparking a wave of Iranian terror against Israeli overseas targets and seriously devaluing sanctions, debkafile reports. Anyway, Tehran has no intention of yielding on its drive for nuclear arms.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 17, 2012
Israel and Britain are not on the same page, but both are smearing Iran for their own reasons: Netanyahu is concerned that sanctions against Iran will boost its urge to attack Israeli targets abroad, while the British fear the London Olympics of July 2012 will be targeted for joint Iranian-al Qaeda attacks.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 15, 2012
Shrugging off Western sanctions and Israeli recriminations, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad played a starring role in a widely televised spectacle by inserting his country’s first domestically-made fuel rod into the Tehran Research Reactor Wednesday, Feb. 15. The scene came after the announced cutoff of Iranian oil exports to six European countries - Netherlands, Spain, Italy, France, Greece and Portugal. Two hours later, the Iranian oil ministry challenged the announcement, spoiling the show by showing up differences in high regime ranks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 10, 2012
Israel's top IDF command is being reshuffled, tailored for the potential confrontation with Iran. When Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel takes over in May as Air Force chief, he will free the retiring AIF commander Maj. Gen. Ido Nehushtan to become Dep. Chief of Staff and bring his high technological and air combat assets to the job at the time they may be needed.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 9, 2012
As the US and Israel continued to bicker over an attack on Iran, their war preparations continued apace. debkafile's military sources report that flight after flight of US warplanes and transports were seen cutting eastward over Sinai on their way to Gulf destinations, presumably Saudi Arabia, at a frequency not seen in the Middle East for many years. Sunday, Feb. 5, Alireza Forghani, strategic adviser to Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said, "It would only take nine minutes to wipe out Israel."
DEBKAfile Special Report February 6, 2012
US President Barack Obama, by asserting Sunday, Feb. 5, he doesn't think Israel has decided whether to attack Iran, sought to keep Israel away from military action and set aside as a strategic reserve, while using its threat of attack to bring Iran to the table. Monday, Feb. 6, Bashar Assad reportedly redoubled his deadly assault on Homs and, for the first time, Aleppo, taking advantage of the respite granted him by the Russian-Chinese veto. Syria is now a hub of the US-Iranian confrontation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 4, 2012
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta has been outspoken about a possible Israeli offensive being launched against Iran from April, but has not leveled about massive US war preparations. The question is no longer if armed hostilities are afoot, but when. Tehran too is gearing up with a new three-week "exercise" and calling allies to the flag, including Syria. There, the appalling bloodbath has reached a scale – 350 Saturday, Feb. 4 alone – which potentially rivals nuclear Iran as the trigger for a Middle East confrontation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2012
Israel's military (the IDF) is no longer hiding from view its preparations for an attack on Iran's nuclear program – most probably from the spring – and its expectation of armed hostilities erupting consequently on at least three fronts, Syria, the Lebanese Hizballah and the Palestinian Hamas in Gaza. On Jan. 31, a division exercise was held for drafting reservists under fire.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2012
US stealth drones stay out of Iranian skies since the RQ-170 was downed now that American intelligence knows that a Chinese cyber team was responsible. The Obama administration is avoiding a reckoning with Beijing because Washington needs the Chinese on America's side – especially in a presidential election year.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 3, 2012
A senior US emissary promised Israel that its X-band radar station in Turkey would share data with Israel on a coming Iranian missile attack – contrary to the Turkish foreign minister's assurances to Tehran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 31, 2012
Syrian President Bashar Assad is reported by Persian Gulf sources Tuesday, Jan. 31 to have confided to his advisers that he will start up a regional conflict if the UN Security Council calls on him to step down. The heads of the Syrian armed forces and intelligence have been given their orders. Other sources tell debkafile that the Russian flotilla in Tartus appears to be on alert and Sunday, a US nuclear submarine and destroyer sailed through the Suez Canal to the Red Sea.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 28, 2012
Argentine has captured a three-man Iranian-Hizballah cell and is hunting for the rest of the network, debkafile exclusive sources reveal. It was nabbed in San Carlos de Bariloche, popular with Israeli backpackers touring the Andes. Their network is suspected of plotting attacks on the local Habad center, one of ten in the country, part of a worldwide terrorist offensive against Israeli and Jewish targets which was stopped short twice this month in Thailand and Azerbaijan. Chile, Peru, Uruguay and Mexico are also on terror alert.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 24, 2012
A Hizballah cell backed by intelligence from Tehran and external Iranian terror cells in Turkey, Bulgaria, Georgia and Armenia, was captured in Baku on Jan. 19 by Azerbaijan's National Security Ministry (MNS) officers, who thwarted attacks on the Israeli embassy and the Habad center as well as on Israeli and local personages. Two cell members reside in Azerbaijan; its Tehran-based leader was recruited by Iranian intelligence. This was the first known instance of Iranian intelligence and a Hizballah cell cooperating for a terror operation.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 17, 2012
debkafile's sources disclose exclusively that, contrary to reports in Washington, Jerusalem - and this site too - it was Israel Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, not the Obama administration, who called off the joint US-Israeli military exercise Austere Challenge 12, a step unprecedented in Israel-US relations. Netanyahu acted when he judged the Obama administration's resolve to preempt a nuclear Iran to be flagging. His action also aimed at freeing Israel's hands for a unilateral strike on Iran's nuclear sites - if necessary.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 13, 2012
US President Barack Obama is busy aligning Middle East allies with the next US steps on Iran. Contributing to the mounting sense in Washington of an approaching US-Iranian confrontation, the Pentagon is substantially building up its combat power around Iran, stationing nearly 15,000 troops in Kuwait - two Army infantry brigades and a helicopter unit – and keeping two aircraft carriers in the region.
Iran's Ali Larijani told Turkish leaders in Ankara that his country is prepared to take on any attacks and may go public on a nuclear weapon.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 12, 2012
The US and Israel, while bound tightly by military bonds, are at loggerheads over Iran. The Obama administration wants to cut Israel out of military action against Iran's nuclear sites and prevent it hitting back for an Iranian reprisal. Israel is withholding a commitment to abstain from striking Iran unilaterally.