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.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 15, 2011, 11:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
Retired presidential adviser Dennis Ross in his first public appearance reveals that Barack Obama has charted a new Mid East policy which cares fully for Israeli, Saudi security needs but freezes them out of Washington policy-making. The Palestinian issue is put on ice indefinitely.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 15, 2011, 10:44 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iran says all its nuclear facilities, including uranium enrichment centrifuges, are now underground and safe from US and Israeli attack. Israeli Defense Minister Barak has warned that once underground, Iran's nuclear infrastructure could no longer be attacked and no one would know when a start was made on a nuclear weapon. debkafile:Iran has obtained from North Korea the special metals for advanced uranium enrichment up to weapons grade - contrary to Western claims that their short supply had stalled enrichment.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 14, 2011, 12:22 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iranian Intelligence Minister Heidar Moslehi visited Riyadh Monday, Dec. 12 with a large delegation and a proposition for Crown Prince Nayef: For an anti-US and anti-Zionist pact on regional issues, Tehran would act to bring the Syrian opposition into government and open its nuclear program to Saudi participation. Moslehi boasted that after seizing top US secret drone technology by a successful cyber attack, Iran was unquestionably the top regional power. The Saudis moved fast to take the ayatollahs down a peg or two.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 12, 2011, 6:10 PM (GMT+02:00)
Bigheaded from capturing the US RQ-170 Sentinel stealth drone, Tehran Monday, Dec. 12 announced plans soon for a navy drill to practice closure of the Strait of Hormuz, the most important oil transit channel in the world. Iranian lawmaker Parviz Sorouri said, "Iran will make the world unsafe if the world attacks Iran." The drill will challenge US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's recent warning that Iranian disruptions of Persian Gulf free traffic would be a red line for the US.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 11, 2011, 6:37 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran is driving a hard bargain for granting Russian and Chinese teams access to the US stealth drone RQ-170 it captured undamaged last week. debkafile reports: The price, they were told, includes advanced nuclear and missile technology, especially systems using solid fuel, the last word on centrifuges for enriching uranium and the S-300PMU-1 air defense system, which Moscow has consistently refused to sell Tehran. Israel's prime minister sent foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman to Moscow to try and stop the deal.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 8, 2011, 7:25 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran exhibited the top-secret US stealth drone RQ-170 Sentinel captured on Sunday, Dec. 4. Its almost perfect condition confirmed Tehran's claim that the UAV was downed by a cyber attack, meaning it was brought in undamaged by an electronic warfare ambush. This is a major debacle for the stealth technology the US uses in its warplanes and the drone technology developed by the US and Israel. It obliges both to revise their strike plans against Iran's nuclear program.
DEBKAfile DEBKA Weekly December 7, 2011, 1:06 PM (GMT+02:00)
Complaints about the gaps in the Obama administration's knowledge of Israel's intentions to attack Iran's nuclear facilities were heard in Washington Wednesday, Dec. 7. In its latest issue out Friday, DEBKA-Net-Weekly revealed exclusively what the US administration asked of Israel in this regard, its response and their plans for a nuclear-armed Iran. Our experts examined how the arrival of the US stealth drone RQ-170 in Iranian hands affect a potential attack.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 6, 2011, 6:56 AM (GMT+02:00)
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has placed the Revolutionary Guards on a war footing fearing an attack by the West and Israel on Iran's nuclear sites, the London Telegraph reports Dec. 6. They have redistributed the Shahab missiles to secret sites ready to launch retaliatory strikes; Guards units are scattered to preset defense lines and air force "rapid reaction units" are ready to respond to enemy air attack. By capturing the top-secret US RQ-170 spy drone, Iran gains a military edge before any overt strike begins.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 4, 2011, 9:34 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran latched onto US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta's warning Friday, Dec. 2 that an Israeli strike at Iran's nuclear facilities would cause unpredictable results. Sunday, Iran issued two threats: to hit back beyond its borders for a US drone which its military claimed to have shot down in the east, and to force oil prices to soar to $250 a barrel if an embargo is imposed on its oil exports – a hint at a Strait of Hormuz blockade.
DEBKAfile Special Report December 3, 2011, 2:25 PM (GMT+02:00)
US President Barack Obama declared in ringing tones Wednesday, Nov. 30, "We don't compromise when it comes to Israel's security." Three days later, US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta in a lecture to the Brookings Institute outlined America's demands of Israel: To abstain from attacking Iran and rely on the US; to negotiate with the Palestinians; to reach out to Egypt, Turkey, Jordan, and to pursue only goals shared with the US – demands almost synonymous with the Israeli opposition's platform.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 3, 2011, 10:41 AM (GMT+02:00)
Amid international and Israeli controversy over whether or not to attack Iran's nuclear program, the rulers of the Islamic Republic have just "upgraded" their strategic objective of wiping Israel off the map and extended it for the first time to the more ambitious one of annihilating the Jews worldwide. A virulently anti-Semitic book and film were released for nationwide distribution on orders from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. They draw heavily on the infamous Elders of Zion fiction of a Jewish world conspiracy.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 1, 2011, 10:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
After spotting an attempted plot on the life of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran has launched a mega manhunt to ferret out the army of double agents and inside traitors suspected to have infested the upper reaches of its government, Revolutionary Guards and armed forces.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 1, 2011, 10:35 PM (GMT+02:00)
The West and Israel have no option but to admit the failure of a decade of sanctions, military threats, diplomatic penalties, cyber war and covert operations to abort Iran's drive for a nuclear bomb. Tehran has never wavered from its goal, citing the "Persian Carpet Doctrine" as its secret ...
DEBKAfile Special Report December 1, 2011, 11:28 AM (GMT+02:00)
Major US-Israel differences surfaced suddenly Thursday, Dec. 1, over the timing and circumstances of an attack on Iran's nuclear facilities, when Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, said: "I don't know whether Israel would alert the United States ahead of time if it decided to take military action against Iran." Three hours later, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak maintained US policy would enable Iran to obtain a nuclear weapon without the possibility of attacking it. Meanwhile, facilities are being hidden underground.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2011, 10:12 PM (GMT+02:00)
Britain's seemingly tough steps Wednesday, Nov. 30 - expeling Iranian diplomats from London and closing the UK embassy in Tehran - stopped well short of punishment for their government's action in loosing a student mob against the embassy, debkafile notes. To really hurt Tehran, UK Prime Minister David Cameron would have shut down Iran's English-language Press TV and World Office of Islamic Guidance, Iran's most influential anti-West propaganda machines in the English language. The German, French, Dutch ambassadors are recalled.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 25, 2011, 9:29 AM (GMT+02:00)
First, Hizballah reported the unmasking of a CIA network in Lebanon. Then, Wednesday, Nov. 23, an Iranian lawmaker Parviz Sorouri, a member of the Iranian parliament's foreign affairs and defense committee, claimed the capture of 12 CIA spies targeting Iran's military and its nuclear program with the Mossad and regional agencies. Beirut and Tehran had clearly joined forces, debkafile report, to prove they were on top of their security and had smashed dangerous US intelligence networks operating inside their armed forces.