DEBKAfile Special Report November 24, 2013, 6:15 AM (GMT+02:00)
After all-night talks, a first-step nuclear deal was struck before dawn Sunday, Nov. 24, in Geneva between Iran and the six powers. It was announced by President Barack Obama and confirmed by Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. Obama said key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program will be rolled back for limited sanctions relief. The US president said he understood the concerns of Israel and the Persian Gulf nations. He would closely follow Iran’s compliance and as commander-in-chief of US armed forces maintain the option for military action.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 23, 2013, 11:59 PM (GMT+02:00)
After four days of haggling the six-power nuclear talks with Iran were still hanging in the balance as even John Kerry and Sergey Lavrov failed to bridge the gaps.
Lavrov to confirm Russian air defense system, surface missiles for Egypt, Russian Navy facilities at Alexandria
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 12, 2013, 5:18 PM (GMT+02:00)
During their two-day visit to Cairo starting Wednesday, Nov. 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu will finalize an advanced Russian weaponry deal for the Egyptian army. debkafile: Egypt will receive a double-layered system for defensive and offensive needs: a shield against stealth airplane, drone and cruise missile attack, as well as missiles able to reach any part of the Middle East, including Iran. The Russian Navy may gain Mediterranean port facilities and a foothold opposite the Saudi coast.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 19, 2013, 10:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
As the Kerry-Lavrov deal unravels and Obama’s Iran diplomacy progresses, Syria looks like keeping the bulk of its chemical weapons and Iran its nuclear program.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 14, 2013, 7:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
The accord for destroying Syria’s chemical stockpiles, which US Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov presented in Geneva Saturday, Sept 14, leaves important issues unaddressed. Assad stays in power long term with responsibility for its implementation while waging war – a highly dubious prospect. Kerry will not find it easy to convince Israel leaders when he arrives Sunday that Syria won’t divert some its chemical weapons to Hizballah, away from international control, or that the Syrian chemical deal is not a template for Iran’s nuclear program.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 12, 2013, 11:53 PM (GMT+02:00)
Rouhani has appointed a hardliner to head of the national security council which controls Iran’s posture in nuclear negotiations with world powers.
Obama says no decision yet on strike on Syria. DEBKA: He stalls for deal with Putin on softened strike
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 29, 2013, 8:35 AM (GMT+02:00)
Although Barack Obama had decided to attack Syria over its use of chemical weapons – either Friday-Saturday, Aug. 31, or after Labor Day of Sept. 2 - he now says there is no decision yet. debkafile: Obama is stalling in order to buy time for Secretary of State John Kerry to strike a secret deal with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov: the US would soften its strike on Syria, reducing it to a token blow, following which the US and Russian presidents would announce the convening of Geneva-2 for ending the civil war.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 5, 2013, 1:32 AM (GMT+02:00)
The Islamist downfall in Cairo suits the plans of Moscow and Beijing and their against the encroachments of radical Islam. It is also welcomed as a comedown for Barack Obama in the Middle East.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 18, 2013, 6:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran confirms it is prepared to halt enrichment of 20-percent uranium, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reported Tuesday, June 18. He urged Western nations to reciprocate by lifting sanctions. debkafile: It was not clear whether this is a temporary or absolute stoppage - or a dodge for getting sanctions eased to help the new Iranian president find his economic feet. Jerusalem was not convinced by Lavrov’s arguments because Iran has accumulated enough low-grade 5.3 percent uranium for rapid conversion to 20 percent.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 4, 2013, 12:01 AM (GMT+02:00)
Syria launches Scuds against the rebels as they near the Al Safira chemical weapons depot. Lavrov asserts that the weapons are under control – for now. Netanyahu goes to Amman for talks with King Abdullah.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 9, 2012, 1:17 AM (GMT+02:00)
Obama has decided to break through the Syrian stalemate by sending scouts out to find a Syrian rebel with leadership qualities who is fighting Assad in Syria. When this leader is found and approved by the president, the United States will provide him and his militia with advanced hardware ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 3, 2012, 12:43 AM (GMT+02:00)
Moscow has come up with a new euphemism for the naval bases it seeks to acquire in the Indian Ocean and the Caribbean Sea – Leisure and Rest Sites. Russian Navy chiefs warn the Kremlin that its naval assets are not up to defending Russian interests in the Middle ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 27, 2012, 12:40 AM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran accuses the new Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Bandar bin Sultan of engineering bombing attack which killed half of Assad’s top team in Damascus. It sought to drive home the message that enemies of Assad are enemies of Iran and will be punished.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 12, 2012, 11:55 PM (GMT+02:00)
After a secret US-Russian deal on Syria fell apart, Moscow began maneuvering to keep Bashar on as a figurehead president while preserving the army and security establishment intact and in power.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2012, 10:33 PM (GMT+02:00)
Agreement on a Syria-led transition based on mutual consent that includes members of the current government” was reported by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan from the Action Group on Syria meeting in Geneva Saturday, June 30. He avoided mentioning Bashar Assad, but was not able to conceal the gap between Washington and Moscow over the Syrian ruler’s fate: The US still wants him gone, while Russia is still adamant about propping him up. That is the devil in the Annan peace effort.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 30, 2012, 10:30 AM (GMT+02:00)
Aviation Week reports: “Evidence is mounting that the US defense community and the Obama administration view 2013 as the likely window for a bombing attack on Iran’s nuclear and missile facilities.” The chaos of the Syrian government’s fall could be used “to disguise such an attack,” the journal suggests. “The tools…are all operational.” Friday night, top US and Russian diplomats failed to bridge differences on Syria ahead of a UN-sponsored Action Group parley in Geneva. Military preparations are building up for an attack on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 15, 2012, 12:00 AM (GMT+02:00)
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 15, 2012, 12:00 AM (GMT+02:00)
British and German brokers were asked to assure Moscow that military intervention in Syria is not planned now, but that Alawites will never stand up to Assad move him aside unless they see the rebels adequately armed for vanquishing his army. Moscow must therefore accept this.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 29, 2012, 11:05 AM (GMT+02:00)
Vladimir Putin, after taking stock of the early days of his third presidency, concludes that Moscow’s handling of the al-Houla massacre and Syria’s ongoing collapse into civil war will go down as a Russian foreign policy failure. He personally comes out of it as the patron of a bloodthirsty tyrant. He has quietly ordered the Russian arms ship Professor Katsman to leave the Syrian port before unloading its cargo. Putin is now taxed with determining his next steps on Syria.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 10, 2012, 11:42 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tuesday night, April 10, after Damascus skipped the truce laid down in the UN-Arab envoy Kofi Annan’s plan and escalated its attacks on the Syrian population, a change of tone was detected in Washington, reflecting the feeling that America can no longer stay aloof from the Syrian tragedy. One plan discussed is for a US air strike against an Assad regime and/or military target to show his loyal troops and the Syrian opposition that the Syrian ruler is fallible. Thursday, the UN Security Council will hear Annan's report.