DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 15, 2012, 3:31 PM (GMT+02:00)
US-Israeli discord over Iran went into overdrive Sunday, Jan. 15 when the White House called off Austere Challenge 12, the biggest joint war game the US and Israel have every staged, in reprisal for a comment by Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Yaalon in an early morning radio interview. He said the United States was hesitant over sanctions against Iran's central bank and oil for fear of a spike in oil prices and Israel must be ready to defend itself. Yaalon exacerbated the row over US objections to any Israeli role in military action against Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 14, 2012, 10:36 AM (GMT+02:00)
The unattributed killing of Iranian nuclear scientist Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan last Wednesday, Jan. 11, was the subject of an angry phone call from US President Barack Obama to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the next day, debkafile reports. Washington is concerned, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday, that Israel may strike Iran's nuclear sites and has bolstered the defenses of US facilities in the region. In Jerusalem, Washington's strong and unusual slamming of the attack was deeply resented.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 13, 2012, 12:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
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, 11:26 PM (GMT+02:00)
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 ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 12, 2012, 11:26 PM (GMT+02:00)
A US intelligence report has advised Barack Obama that Iran may be ripe for regime change owing to the bitter infighting at the top and a plunging economy which may herald famine at around election time in March. But Tehran will not budge on its radical military and nuclear ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 12, 2012, 10:46 AM (GMT+02:00)
When IDF Military Intelligence chief Maj.-Gen. Aviv Kochavi accused Iran and Hizballah Wednesday, Jan. 11of of supplying Bashar Assad with arms for suppressing protest, Turkey had just closed the Iranian corridor carrying those arms through its territory after its contribution to the Syrian army's success in beating down Hama, Homs and Idlib. debkafile discloses that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also warned Tehran that Ankara would not tolerate a nuclear Iran. It would retaliate by posting NATO troops on the Iranian border.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 11, 2012, 12:09 PM (GMT+02:00)
Forty-eight hours after Iran launched advanced uranium enrichment at Fordo, Prof. Mostafa Ahmadi-Roshan, deputy director of the Natanz uranium enrichment facility, was killed early Wednesday, Jan. 11 by a sticky bomb planted on his car by two motorcyclists. It exploded near the Sharif technological university in northern Tehran. In Washington, US Navy and Air Force chiefs leveled on plans for unblocking Hormuz - part of President Obama's effort to persuade Saudi Arabia that the US was serious about military action against Iran.
DEBKAfile DEBKA-Net-Weekly January 11, 2012, 9:09 AM (GMT+02:00)
The first exclusive rundown on US, Saudi and Israeli war preparations against Iran was offered in the latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday. This issue also studies the points of consensus and dispute among the three on goals and priorities: The US and Saudi Arabia are set to unblock the Strait of Hormuz, whereas the US and Israel focus on curtailing Iran's work on a nuclear bomb. Military coordination is marred by mistrust. So Riyadh and Jerusalem are capable of going it alone.
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DEBKAfile Special Report January 10, 2012, 11:19 AM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran plans an underground test of a one-kiloton nuclear device during 2012, debkafile reports. Underground facilities are under construction in great secrecy behind the clamor raised by the start of advanced uranium enrichment at Iran's fortified Fordo bunker-site. Yet, according to a Tel Aviv University think tank scenario, Israel is resigned to a nuclear Iran and would accept a US defense pact instead of retaliating. debkafile's Washington sources refute this: Barack Obama is resolved to use force if need be to preempt a nuclear Iran.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 9, 2012, 10:21 AM (GMT+02:00)
US, Russian, French and British air and naval forces are gathering around the Syrian and Iranian coasts on guard for fresh developments at the two Middle East flashpoints. The Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov put in earlier than planned at Syria's Tartus port Sunday, Jan. 8, together with two more Russian warships. British and French naval craft head to the Persian Gulf, while the giant US RQ-4 Global Hawk drone has begun monitoring Iranian coastlines from the USS Stenning aircraft carrier.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 8, 2012, 10:15 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iran has crossed another red line in its drive for a nuclear weapon with the announcement Sunday, Jan. 8 that the underground uranium enrichment site at Fordo near Qom goes on stream soon. debkafile's military sources: 60 percent enriched uranium can be produced at this facility - just one step before weapons grade. Israel has warned that once Fordo is operational, Iran's nuclear bomb program will be immune to attack and hidden from Western surveillance. US and Israel launch military deployment.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2012, 10:57 PM (GMT+02:00)
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 ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 5, 2012, 10:35 AM (GMT+02:00)
The armies of Saudi Arabia and fellow GCC states stood ready Thursday Jan. 5, for Washington to stand up to Iranian threats and send an aircraft carrier or several warships through the Strait of Hormuz into the Persian Gulf. Notwithstanding their military inferiority, the Iranians believe they can snatch a measure of success from a military confrontation now, which they expect to be limited – at least at first – and are therefore ratcheting up their belligerence day after day.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 1, 2012, 1:01 AM (GMT+02:00)
On the last day of 2011, US President Barack Obama Saturday signed into law measures penalizing foreign financial institutions doing business with Iran's central bank, Bank Markazi - the toughest sanctions yet for Iran's program for developing a nuclear weapon. In recent weeks, Tehran has repeatedly warned that the signing of this measure would be deemed an act of war and elicit drastic steps including the closure of the Strait of Hormuz. debkafile: Tehran appears to be heading for a showdown.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2011, 11:44 PM (GMT+02:00)
Barack Obama set about tightening US cooperation with Israel after discovering Iran had embarked on nuclear weaponization. He was persuaded by Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak that there was no time to lose for eradicating Iran's nuclear program – hence the White House flip-flop on attacking Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 22, 2011, 9:49 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iran has embarked on "activities related to possible weaponization," said American sources Thursday, Dec. 22, thereby crossing the Obama administration's red line. This accounts for the dramatic reversal of the US administration's wait-and-see policy on attacking Iran, as articulated this week by Leon Panetta and top US soldier, Gen. Martin Dempsey. debkafile reports the US and Israeli are now in sync on action against Iran and have tightened cooperation.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 21, 2011, 8:45 AM (GMT+02:00)
Hours after US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told CBS that Iran could build a nuclear bomb in a year or less, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, issued a warning: "Iran is playing a dangerous game that could ensnare the Middle East, the Middle East and others into conflict and a renewed arms race. Don't push it." The loss of the drone is not the end of US efforts, he said, adding: "America is sharing intelligence with Israel."
DEBKAfile Special Report December 20, 2011, 11:43 AM (GMT+02:00)
"Despite the efforts to disrupt the Iranian nuclear program, they have reached a point where they can assemble a bomb in a year or potentially less," said US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in a CBS interview Tuesday, Dec. 20 marking a radical change in US administration policy. "That's a red line for us and that's a red line, obviously, for the Israelis," he said. Instead of warning Israel against striking Iran, Panetta said: "If we have to do it we will deal with it."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 19, 2011, 3:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
The sudden death of Kim Jong II of a heart attack aged 69, Monday, Dec. 19 confronts the world for the first time since the Cold War with a leaderless nuclear power about which it knows almost nothing. Though anointed heir, his youngest son Kim Jong-un is not expected to ride in without being challenged. The inevitable power struggle, which could be drawn out for years, may generate violence on and around the Peninsula and greater North Korean involvement in the Middle East nuclear race.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 17, 2011, 9:57 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran offers to slow uranium enrichment in stages in step with the lifting of sanctions. The Obama administration is listening - provided Iran ditches Assad. This exchange of messages was carried by Iraqi PM Nouri al Maliki when he visited Washington this week. It was the main subject of President Barack Obama's talks with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak Friday, Dec. 16. Israel is concerned that Iran has again contrived to buy time and leeway for completing its nuclear weapon program.