DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 23, 2011, 12:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
The three scientists who planned, designed, built and operated Iran's first nuclear reactor at Bushehr died Tuesday night, June 20, when a Rusaero flight from Moscow crashed at Petrozavodsk in northwest Russia. debkafile reveals they were among the 44 passengers killed. Their loss is a blow to Russia's atomic reactor and energy industries because of their expertise in synchronizing different nuclear systems. Some intelligence sources say that Bushehr's amalgam of systems made it vulnerable to the Stuxnet virus two years ago.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 8, 2011, 9:14 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran struck another blow in its nuclear offensive against the world: Wednesday, atomic chief Fereydoon Abbasi Davani said Iran's 20-percent uranium enrichment would be transferred from Natanz to Fordo near Qom this summer. Improved centrifuges would triple purification capacity. debkafile's military sources report that this move will substantially shorten Iran's road to weapons grade uranium of 90 percent. The Fordo facility, burrowed deep in a mountainside and protected by anti-air missiles, is all but invulnerable to air attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2011, 11:01 PM (GMT+02:00)
The deployment of Iranian "military submarines" in the Red Sea, announced Tuesday June 7, was Tehran's response to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency's report accusing Iran of nuclear work with "possible military purposes." It was also a pointed comment on the controversy in Israel over whether or not to go for the military option. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad then delivered his most uncompromising statement yet on Iran's nuclear program, calling it "a train with no brakes or reverse gear."
DEBKAfile Special Report June 3, 2011, 8:24 AM (GMT+02:00)
By April 2011, Iran had accumulated a quantity of U-235 that can be enriched in short order to sufficient 90 percent (weapons grade) uranium to fuel four nuclear bombs - and attained "virtual" nuclear weapon state. This was revealed by the Wisconsin Project on Nuclear Arms Control, America's scientific watchdog on world nuclear weapons production, in its June 2 report. By breaking the IAEA seal at the Natanz enrichment plant, Iran gained another 6-7 months for concealing the work there.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 8, 2011, 3:02 AM (GMT+02:00)
Two Middle East powers strike out without the United States to foil the spread of weapons of mass destruction – Israel in Sudan; Saudi Arabia in Iran.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 10, 2011, 2:42 PM (GMT+02:00)
An annual intelligence report to Congress has dropped language stating that Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions are a future option and speaks in terms of the present, indicating a radical switch in US policy on Iran. As rocketing oil prices triggered by Arab uprisings wiped out the sanctions damage to Iran, Washington confirmed the worst Saudi and Israeli suspicions that Barack Obama had come to terms with a nuclear-armed Iran, after the US long restrained Israel from nipping this menace in the bud.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 22, 2011, 10:49 PM (GMT+02:00)
The world powers' bid to address the controversy over Iran's nuclear program by diplomacy has ended in impasse. Saturday, Jan. 22, EU foreign policy executive Catherine Ashton who led the team of six powers said Iran had come to the talks with pre-conditions but the door was still open. Iranian negotiator Saeed Jalili demanded international recognition of his country's right to uranium enrichment. The rehashed enriched uranium swap plan was rejected. The foreign team was described as angry and frustrated.
DEBKAfile Special Report January 17, 2011, 8:19 PM (GMT+02:00)
Outgoing Mossad Director Meir Dagan has revised his earlier prognosis that Iran would not have nuclear weapons before 2015 because of technical obstacles. In his last briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and the Security Committee, Monday, Jan. 17, Dagan said, "The Iranian nuclear challenge will remain significant… the timing will not change the fact that Iran is working towards nuclear military capabilities and in certain scenarios can shorten the timeline." He mentioned North Korea in this context.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 2, 2010, 9:43 AM (GMT+02:00)
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has quietly warned that North Korea is using its crisis with the South to cover up its planned transfer to Iran of nuclear weapons systems parts and extra-fast centrifuges for uranium enrichment that could help Tehran go into bomb production in the first half of 2011, debkafile's sources report. He has asked pro-Western Persian Gulf leaders to try and persuade President Barack Obama to take strong military action against North Korea to abort delilvery.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 1, 2010, 9:56 AM (GMT+02:00)
Riyadh has signaled its intention for the secret Saudi-Israeli meetings on Iran taking place for more than a year to continue after the changing of the guard at the Mossad, debkafile's intelligence sources reveal. This message Tamir Pardo found on his desk when he took over from Meir Dagan this week as head of Israel's external spy agency. It means that, regardless of WikiLeaks disclosures, the Saudis stand by their conviction that Iran's nuclear program must be destroyed.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 24, 2010, 9:02 AM (GMT+02:00)
Despite Iranian claims in October that their nuclear systems were cleansed of the Stuxnet virus, debkafile's intelligence and Iranian sources confirm that the invasive malworm is still making trouble. It shut down uranium enrichment at Natanz for a week from Nov. 16 to 22 over breakdowns caused by mysterious power fluctuations in the operation of the centrifuge machines. Stuxnet is also on the march inside Iran's military systems, sowing damage and disorder in its wake.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 8, 2010, 1:38 PM (GMT+02:00)
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates rapped Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's knuckles for his comment in New Orleans Sunday, Nov. 7, that "Iran must be made to fear a military strike against its nuclear program." Gates shot back: "I disagree that only a credible military threat can get Iran …to end its nuclear weapons program." debkafile: The Obama administration is building up military pressure on Iran and resents the Israeli prime minister's bid to force the pace beyond its calibrated momentum.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 7, 2010, 8:21 AM (GMT+02:00)
Before taking off for Asia Saturday, Nov. 6, President Barack Obama ordered the Pentagon not just to beef up American and NATO military pressure on Iran but to do so as conspicuously as possible, debkafile's Washington and military sources report. In the last few days, three aircraft carriers, four nuclear submarines and several marine assault units have piled up opposite Iranian shores. US Sen. Lindsey Graham has called for US to strike Iran's navy, air force and Revolutionary Guards.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 2, 2010, 9:17 PM (GMT+02:00)
In his farewell briefing to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Security Committee, Tuesday, Nov. 2, departing Israel Military Intelligence chief Maj. Gen. Amos Yadlin listed the threats to Israel as headed by Iran. But he warned that Syria is buying advanced Russian self-propelled air defense missiles with long-range optical ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 3, 2010, 1:13 PM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile's intelligence sources report from Iran that dozens of Russian nuclear engineers, technicians and contractors are hurriedly departing Iran for home since local intelligence authorities began rounding up their compatriots as suspects of planting the Stuxnet malworm into their nuclear program.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 23, 2010, 1:26 PM (GMT+02:00)
As the UN General Assembly opens with speeches by US President Barack Obama and Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, US media carry a plethora of leaks maintaining that the United States has embarked on a clandestine cyber war against Iran and that Israel has established elite cyber war units for this purpose.
Stuxnet, rated as the most advanced and dangerous virus ever devised, is said to have crippled 3,000 enrichment centrifuges.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 13, 2010, 9:10 AM (GMT+02:00)
IAEA: Iran has crossed threshold for being able to arm ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads. This news sent the NATO Secretary running to Washington, but stirred no reaction from Israel – even though Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadiinejad is preparing to visit Beirut and sign the Lebanese army up for Tehran’s forward front to defend its nuclear facilities and tie Israel's hands, debkafile's mil;itary sources report.
DEBKAfile Special Report September 10, 2010, 1:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile reports a new flurry of expert warnings about the failure of sanctions to check Iran’s advance toward a nuclear weapons capability and its possible preparations to stage the first Iranian nuclear test. After secret new enrichment plant comes to light, the nuclear watchdog’s inspection regime is ...
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 8, 2010, 10:13 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iran is secretly moving some of its most sensitive nuclear research facilities and materials from Tehran and the Arak heavy water plant to huge storage areas around the new nuclear reactor at Bushehr, along with advanced missiles from the southern province of Khuzestan, debkafile discloses.
The fueling of the reactor since inaugurated Aug. 21 makes the location safe from air or missile attack for fear of environmental radiation. Tehran is exploiting this advantage.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis August 21, 2010, 6:11 PM (GMT+02:00)
The extraordinary meekness with which the US and Israel greeted Russia's start-up of Iran's first nuclear reactor is accounted for, debkafile reports, by a secret Washington-Moscow deal whereby Russia voted with the US for UN sanctions against Iran in return for which Washington and Jerusalem tacitly assented to the activation of the Iranian reactor. Will Israel's acquiescence extend to deals with the Palestinians?