DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 6, 2014
A new Iranian Ghadir-class stealth mini-submarine, home-built with Chinese technology, recently sank near the Strait of Hormuz while preparing for a Revolutionary Guards naval exercise to practice sinking or disabling a mock-up US aircraft carrier, debkafile reports exclusively. To keep the accident secret, Tehran curtailed the search for the estimated 10 crewmen. In Tehran, Navy Commander Rear Adm. Ali Fadavi said: “Destroying the US navy remains one of the top operational goals of the Tehran forces. If war with the US breaks out, the carriers’ size “will make them easy to target."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2014
The US delivers assault helicopters in special airlift to Israel and places its Middle East forces on high alert, especially in the Mediterranean. Russian armed forces also remain on combat readiness.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 28, 2013
Comments by US President Barack Obama and Ambassador Dan Shapiro lack a US commitment to step in against the Syrian chemical threat. Obama is concerned with juggling his global military priorities against a shrinking defense budget. debkafile: The onus for coping with the chemical peril is being passed by Washington to Turkey, Jordan and Israel. US aid will be confined to setting targets, providing intelligence and coordinating Israeli-Turkish-Jordanian military operations if necessary to take control of the dangerous arsenal.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 6, 2012
American officials said Wednesday, Dec. 4, that they believed bombs had been made ready with sarin gas, but not yet loaded onto fighter planes and Assad had not issued the “go” order. The USS Eisenhower Strike Group has reached the Syrian coast with 8 fighter bomber squadrons and 8,000 servicemen. With the USS Iwo Jima, the US has posted opposite Syria 70 fighter-bombers, 17 warships and 10,000 American fighting men – all in apparent readiness for US intervention in the Syrian conflict.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 5, 2012
A third US aircraft carrier, USS Stennis, is moving into place for leading 25 nations in a 12-day naval exercise off Iran’s Gulf coast. A large-scale minesweeping drill will simulate the prevention of Iranian efforts to block the Strait of Hormuz. debkafile: President Barack Obama plans to see Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sept. 27, the last day of the exercise, hoping to forestall an Israel attack on Iran’s nuclear sites by demonstrating that the US is serious about military action, a message also addressed to Tehran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 12, 2012
The first week of October is the latest agreed timeline for a US-Israeli decision to strike Iran because after that it will be too late. Iran’s nuclear breakout is now counted in weeks, nuclear diplomacy has fallen through and President Obama is closer than ever before to a decision. DEBKA-Net-Weekly's military sources add that France has also begun transferring special forces to its UAE bases and Britain is completing preparations for deploying large ground, naval and air forces to Kuwait.
DEBKAfile Special Report July 12, 2012
As Russia and NATO boosted their military strength in the E. Mediterranean, debkafile reports the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier and dozens of unmanned underwater craft for destroying mines are being rushed to the Persian Gulf. By August, five aircraft carriers will be on site - four American and one French. "If Iran starts spreading underwater mines in international waterways, i.e., the Strait of Hormuz, it will find American forces ready to dismantle them," said a Western military source.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 15, 2012
Tehran has gained recognition of its big power status from a conversation between its senior negotiator Jalili and the EU’s Catherine Ashton without even having to attend the next negotiating session in Moscow.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 9, 2012
Gulf tensions soared Monday, April 9, when Iran warned the US and the Gulf Arabs to halt their joint air-sea exercise, the biggest the Gulf has ever seen – or else. debkafile reports: 200 fighter-bombers launched the exercise Sunday - 100 taking off from the USS Enterprise and USS Abraham Lincoln, 100 contributed by the Saudi, UAE, Kuwaiti and Bahraini air forces. They are simulating war with Iran and an operation to reopen Hormuz in cause it is closed to traffic.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 18, 2012
Ali Falahian, Iran’s senior spokesman on sanctions, said Sunday, March 18: “I suggest that the West take seriously our threat to close the Strait of Hormuz.” This was Tehran’s first response to the SWIFT decision to sever ties with Iranian banks.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 26, 2012
The Obama administration saw in the unimpeded passage of the Abraham Lincoln carrier through the Strait of Hormuz a signal that Tehran may be amenable to nuclear talks. Preparatory feelers are going forward on three tracks via Baghdad, Ankara and Vienna between the emissaries of the US President and Iran's Supreme leader.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 23, 2012
Three weeks after Tehran threatened action against any US aircraft carrier entering the Strait of Hormuz, Washington made two moves: US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta disclosed Sunday, Jan. 22, that the USS Enterprise Carrier Strike Group would steam through the strait in March; a few hours later, the USS Abraham Lincoln carrier transited Hormuz without incident. Defusing the Hormuz dispute set the scene for resumed US-Iranian nuclear talks and the suspension of tough sanctions as Israel was preparing to strike Iran's nuclear facilities.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 20, 2012
Iran will avoid a full-dress confrontation with superior US military might and trust to pinpoint harassment and provocations to carry the day. Tehran believes the apparent US-Israeli rift it’s a subterfuge to camouflage US-Israel war preparations against its nuclear sites.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 20, 2012
A detailed report to Washington by Saudi and Kuwaiti intelligence details Iran's preparations for sabotaging oil production in the Gulf emirates, striking US targets and blocking the Strait of Hormuz.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2012
Tehran is kicking back hard for Barack Obama's three-prong anti-Iran warfronts in the economic, covert and allied spheres. After having its horizon for expansion shrunk to its front door in the Persian Gulf, Iran's rulers are looking for trouble, hoping to provoke a limited military clash with the United States.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly January 3, 2012
Armed US-Iranian hostilities are dangerously close – more so even than the six-to-eight months widely predicted. By posting a Keep Out sign over the Persian Gulf for the USS Stennis, Tehran is goading the Obama administration into action sooner rather than later. DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday assesses the nail-biting face-off generated by US pressure on Iran and Tehran's tactics for throwing it back in America's face. Israel must weigh how far to join US action against the cost of Iranian retaliation.
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DEBKAfile Special Report January 3, 2012
In another heated escalation over the strategic Strait of Hormuz, Iran Tuesday, Jan. 3, threatened to take action if the US aircraft carrier USS Stennis, which "moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill returns to the Persian Gulf." Army chief Lt. Gen. Ataolla Salehi said:" Iran will not repeat this warning." It is hard to see Washington caving in over Tehran's ultimate challenge to the freedom of this vital international waterway and accepting Iran's assumed right to control passage.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 25, 2011
Iranian Defense Minister Brig. Gen. Ahmad Vahidi Monday, Dec. 26, replied to Sunday's debkafile report which revealed Tehran's plan to use its big 10-day naval drill east of the Strait of Hormuz to test its vaunted cyber intelligence prowess against US warships. He said Iran has great capabilities in "all fields of national defense, including the use of intelligence drones." The Islamic Republic, he said, could employ aerial drones to counter any potential US-led covert war. But he did not refer to a full-scale war offensive.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 5, 2011
The actions and words of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Syrian ruler Bashar Assad in the last 72 hours indicate they are bracing for a regional war, including an attack on Iran, within a time frame between mid-December 2011 and mid-January 2012.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 26, 2011
The Syrian crisis assumed a big power dimension this week with the build-up of rival US and Russian air carrier armadas in Syrian waters – ranged against and in support of Bashar Assad, debkafile's military sources report. The USS George H.W. Bush arrived Wednesday, Nov. 23, with 70 fighter-bombers and 8 guided missile cruisers and destroyers. Russia's only air carrier the Admiral Kuznetsov is due in mid-week to boost the three Russian warships already anchored off the Syrian port of Tartus.