DEBKAfile Special Report February 14, 2013
In the murky world of double agents, no one can be sure who serves whom at any given time. Some straw companies also serve many spymasters - whether as their operating method or out of greed. Ben Zygier-Alon’s mission has not been revealed, but some leaks suggest he may have been mixed up in this kind of vortex and, instead of jumping out, decided on his own bat to follow through all the way to a certain objective, so sealing his fate and possibly betraying his own masters.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 12, 2013
US and Israel are aware that the North Korean nuclear test carried out Tuesday, Feb. 12, brings Iran that much closer to conducting a test of its own. Shortly before the test, Ahmadinejad’s boast that Iran will soon place a satellite in orbit at an altitude of 36,000 kilometers - and Tehran’s claim to have sent a monkey into space – highlight the longstanding division of labor and pooling of knowledge between North Korea and Iran: the former focusing on nuclear armament and the latter on long-range missiles to deliver it.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 11, 2013
A secret US Pentagon study “casts doubt on whether the multibillion-dollar missile defense system planned for Europe can ever protect the US from Iranian ballistic missiles...” Clearly, the missile shield against Iran, which aroused ire in Moscow, is about to fall under the axe of US defense budget cuts. debkafile: Scrapping it will leave Israel and Turkey undefended against Iranian missile attack. But if Tehran can put a satellite in orbit of 36,000 kilometers above earth, as Ahmadinejad boasts, America is just as exposed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report February 8, 2013
Obama’s preoccupation with Iran and Syria was signaled by his green light for Israel’s air strike in Syria and the announcement of his coming visit to Israel for consultation with Binyamin Netanyahu on those subjects, leaving the peace process with the Palestinians for a later date. This change of face was effected by the combined effort of Clinton, Kerry and Donilon.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 6, 2013
President Barack Obama is not coming to Israel to advance new proposals or break the peace talks deadlock with the Palestinians, the White House said Wednesday night, Feb. 6. US ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said earlier he was coming for consultation on major issues: preventing a nuclear Iran and the collapse of the Assad regime in Syria. debkafile: The visit strengthens Netanyahu’s hand in coalition negotiations, especially after the close rapport between Washington and Jerusalem on Israel’s military action in Syria.
DEBKAfile Special Report February 5, 2013
As Israeli parties haggle over a new government coalition, Bashar Assad, backed by Iran and Moscow, sits firmly in the saddle and plays hardball with the Syrian opposition. Former military intelligence chief Asher Yadlin says Iran can “achieve nuclear breakout in four to six months.” Ahmadinejad invites Egypt to join Syria, Hizballah and a nuclear Iran for an unbeatable coalition to “solve the Palestinian question” and wipe Israel off the map so that he can pray on Temple Mount, Jerusalem.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis February 2, 2013
The air raid over the Jamraya military complex near Damascus Wednesday, Jan. 30, attributed to Israel by Western sources, was the first time the Assad-Hizballah military pact had been targeted. Obama gave it the green light after Iran speeded up 20-percent uranium enrichment, US lead nuclear negotiator with Iran quit and gave up on diplomacy and Vice President Biden dismissed further talks until Khamenei gets “serious.” Obama was telling Tehran that IDF had acted to start breaking up the Iranian-Syria-Hizballah bloc.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 25, 2013
Moscow and Tehran are capitalizing on President Barack Obama's withdrawal of US forces from the Middle East and his maneuvers for avoiding military involvement in its trouble spots. Russia is quietly riding piggy-back on Iran's overt drive for influence in Cairo, hoping to recover the high standing enjoyed by the Soviet Union up until 1972. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei have sent their aides to Cairo to coordinate their moves.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 15, 2013
After US intelligence admitted it cannot detect or stop a Syrian chemical attack, US experts now estimate that Iran will not be able to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for one or bombs before mid-2014 “without detection by the West.” debkafile: Barack Obama is preparing the world for the “surprise” of an Iranian nuclear test. The new, delayed dateline, moreover, is based on a false supposition. Already today, Iran has acquired or produced enough enriched uranium to build five nuclear bombs.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 11, 2013
After five months of silence, Binyamin Netanyahu is again talking to his close advisers about the urgency of a military attack to preempt a nuclear Iran, because the window of opportunity won’t stay open more than a month or two. The domestic opposition he faced last September has ebbed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report January 11, 2013
Khamenei is at his old tricks of spinning out nuclear negotiations while developing Iran’s nuclear capabilities and grabbing strategic assets in the Middle East. No longer fearing a US military strike, he is now bent on pumping Obama for more concessions on Iran’s nuclear program. He and his advisers decided that the same old tactics which worked for 12 years would do perfectly well for the second Obama administration team, especially if Chuck Hagel and John Brennan are approved as Secretary of Defense and CIA Director.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis January 5, 2013
Likud’s chief asset, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, may also be its chief liability. His silence and ambiguity, his failure to preempt a nuclear-armed Iran and his alignment with Barak Obama on Middle East affairs affecting Israel’s vital security are hurting his party - the joint Likud-Yisrael Beitenu ticket – which, 17 days before a general election, is on a downward slide to 34 from its first 47-seat rating. Yet, the polls still put him in the top slot (43+ percent) as favorite for prime minister and his left-of-center opposition is falling back.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 29, 2012
Moscow and Tehran have advanced from their strategic partnership for Bashar Assad's survival to military cooperation. debkafile: An Iranian naval maneuver began in the Straits of Hormuz Friday, Dec. 28 - two days after Russia launched its largest naval war game ever in the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf. As Iranian-made Fateh A-110 missiles were fired this week by the Syrian army under Iranian officers, Moscow rapidly expanded the deployment of its highly-sophisticated S-400 interceptors near the Turkish border.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 26, 2012
While running for reelection, Barack Obama said an Iranian “breakout capacity” must be averted because it meant Tehran could quickly assemble a nuclear weapon before US or Israeli intelligence caught on and had time to intervene. debkafile: Iran is widely presumed to have passed this stage already, and so “breakout capacity” is just another red line to be blown away by Tehran. The talk of 2013 being a critical year for preempting Iran’s nuclear capacity is nothing but election spin.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 24, 2012
Turkey’s resumption of strategic cooperation with Israel through NATO is a major breakthrough for Binyamin Netanyahu. He is constantly accused of bringing Israel into deep international isolation as he runs for reelection. NATO and Turkey undercut that charge. Barack Obama worked hard to heal the breach between Ankara and Jerusalem - both to strengthen his burgeoning pro-US Middle East axis and to pave the way for the resuscitation of Israel-Palestinian peace talks in March, 2013 in accord with Netanyahu.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 15, 2012
Tehran refuses to discontinue 20-percent uranium enrichment. Either Washington accepts this or “the game is over” – says Iran, in reference to the secret talks launched in Lausanne on Dec. 1. debkafile: Iran is cool on talks since finding it can extract 100 kilos of weapons-grade uranium from the fuel rods removed from the Bushehr reactor in October. This is enough for 24 plutonium bombs - each equal to the WWII bomb dropped on Nagasaki. The US and Israel are ignoring this breakthrough.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2012
Obama has made it clear to Ayatollah Khamenei that lack of progress Iran abandoning its work on a nuclear weapon within the three-month framework for negotiations will lead to US approaching the UN Security Council as its penultimate move before a military offensive.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2012
An Iranian scientist who defected last week over lax safety at his country’s nuclear sites reports that the Bushehr reactor is too faulty to last more than 18 months and mysterious illnesses are spreading through Isfahan from four nuclear facilities. Fearing the reactor might explode, Russian experts summoned from Moscow temporarily removed the fuel rods. According to Russian estimates, an explosion might have caused one million Iranian deaths and injured hundreds of thousands of radiation victims in Persian Gulf countries.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly December 4, 2012
The US and Iran launched bilateral nuclear talks in total hush Saturday, Dec. 1, an event DEBKA-Net-Weekly 567 was first to disclose on Nov. 30. Tehran insisted on the session going forward on schedule, while at the same time staging a string of military incidents for racking up tension to strengthen its bargaining position at the table. The latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday opened an exclusive window on the secret session and charts the next US and Iranian moves.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 1, 2012
Iran’s nuclear reactor at Bushehr was shut down in mid-October for fear of an explosion. Saturday, Dec. 1, an authoritative Russian nuclear industry source revealed why: “Indicators showed that some small external parts were… in the [Bushehr] reactor vessel….” They were identified as “bolts beneath the fuel cells.” debkafile: Russian experts estimated that a Bushehr explosion had the potential for causing a million Iranian deaths and hundreds of thousands of radiation victims in Iran and across the Persian Gulf emirates.