DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 21, 2013, 12:12 AM (GMT+02:00)
The US and Iran embarked on secret direct nuclear negotiations a week before Hassan Rouhani was elected Iranian president. Obama has agreed to let Iran’s nuclear program go forward up to a point just short of assembling a bomb. Saudi Arabia and Israel are furious.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 18, 2013, 6:00 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran confirms it is prepared to halt enrichment of 20-percent uranium, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reported Tuesday, June 18. He urged Western nations to reciprocate by lifting sanctions. debkafile: It was not clear whether this is a temporary or absolute stoppage - or a dodge for getting sanctions eased to help the new Iranian president find his economic feet. Jerusalem was not convinced by Lavrov’s arguments because Iran has accumulated enough low-grade 5.3 percent uranium for rapid conversion to 20 percent.
DEBKAfile Special Report June 15, 2013, 10:47 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran’s leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei views Hassan Rouhani’s election as president as the opening for a more flexible approach on Iran’s nuclear controversy with the West. debkafile: Rouhani’s first task will be to draft a detailed plan setting boundaries for Iranian concessions to obtain the partial lifting of sanctions and restore the flow of oil revenues to the country’s empty coffers. This will bring the president-elect head on head with the Revolutionary Guards, who are already rumored in Tehran to be plotting his removal by a military putsch.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2013, 12:20 AM (GMT+02:00)
The request to Binyamin Netanyahu from Ali Khamenei was routed through Barack Obama. Its outcome was a flood of harsh US sanctions and Washington’s nod for a unilateral Israeli attack on Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 7, 2013, 12:20 AM (GMT+02:00)
Barack Obama’s new appointees, Susan Rice, National Security adviser, and Samantha Power, ambassador to the UN, favored US intervention in Libya but not Syria. They prefer to help the president achieve his pivot to Asia, but neither al Qaeda nor Iran will give them the chance.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 16, 2013, 11:52 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iran’s nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalilee is the supreme leader’s favorite for president in the June 14 election, appreciating his hard line on Iran’s nuclear program – except that he is short of administrative experience for rescuing a collapsing economy.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 23, 2013, 7:13 PM (GMT+02:00)
Red lines have been flattened by Iran’s rapid progress toward a nuclear weapon and by Bashar Assad’s mockery, backed by Tehran, of US President Barack Obama’s warning that “proof of chemical weapons use would be a game changer.” Two Israeli ex-intelligence chiefs Tuesday, April 23 underlined Israel-US differences.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 18, 2013, 11:47 PM (GMT+02:00)
Israel’s leaders are again talking about a unilateral strike on Iran after discovering that contrary to US reports, its nuclear program has picked up speed and after watching the tame US handling of the Korean crisis.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 14, 2013, 6:58 PM (GMT+02:00)
Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon wants America as partner if at all possible for attacking Iran’s nuclear facilities. But if Washington declines and Iran is on the verge of acquiring an operational nuclear arsenal – most probably this year - Israel must go it alone. He plans to do away with the classical divisions, brigades and professional corps like artillery and tanks which characterize a conventional army, and replace them with small, self-contained, armies capable of operating independently under their own air and artillery cover.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 9, 2013, 1:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
Korean tensions again shot up Tuesday, April 9, with Pyongyang’s warning of a ballistic missile launch Wednesday at the Pacific and advice to foreigners to leave the South in case of war. In Tehran, the president unveiled two additional uranium-processing facilities at the central town of Ardakan, 120 km from large uranium mines in Saghand. Iran now threatens to quit the Non-Proliferation Treaty and so, debkafile reports, carry on developing nuclear weapons away from international oversight like its North Korean partner.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 5, 2013, 7:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran’s intercession in the Korean crisis on the side of its ally in Pyongyang was predictable, even while the US preferred to ignore their close interrelations. And so, on Friday, April 5, Deputy Chief of Iran's Armed Forces Brig. Gen. Masoud Jazayeri stepped forward to point the finger at the US, saying: “The time for Washington’s bullying and extortion is long past.” His words came at the very moment that Iranian intransigence brought the latest six-power meeting on its nuclear program to its customary dead end.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 5, 2013, 12:42 AM (GMT+02:00)
Washington’s insistence that Iran has slowed down nuclear progress out of political motivations impelled the IAEA chief Yukiya Amano to offer proof that Iran is secretly continuing to develop nuclear weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2013, 9:34 AM (GMT+02:00)
President Barack Obama persuaded Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in their talks in Jerusalem this week to give Tehran three more months to work through nuclear diplomacy with the P5+1 group of world powers, debkafile discloses. This grace period expires after Iran’s June 24 presidential election, although military action against its nuclear sites may not necessarily follow the next day. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, however, warned Thursday, March 21, that if attacked, “the Islamic Republic will raze Tel Aviv and Haifa to the ground.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2013, 1:50 AM (GMT+02:00)
Obama pledges to extend the US military assistance program for Israel for another decade when it expires in 2017. Netanyahu said he would not order an attack on Iran without first consulting with Washington.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2013, 11:30 PM (GMT+02:00)
On Day One of his visit to Israel, President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu put to rest their long dispute over an Israeli strike on Iran. In principle, Israel had the right to independently defend itself, they acknowledged, but in practice would not exercise this principle without first consulting with Washington. The president reciprocated with a pledge of expanded military aid to Israel. Both deferred military intervention in the Syrian civil conflict – even for containing its expansion into chemical warfare.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2013, 1:14 PM (GMT+02:00)
President Barack Obama was greeted on his arrival in Israel midday Wednesday, March 20 with unprecedented ceremonial honors and fanfare. However, the omens augured major differences with his hosts. In the 48 hours before his arrival, Syria for the first time bombed targets inside Lebanon and fired a chemical warhead at Aleppo. While Israel is acutely concerned by this escalation just across its frontiers, the Obama administration withheld a practical response. The two governments are also divided on the handling of Iran’s nuclear program.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 14, 2013, 9:40 PM (GMT+02:00)
The departure of the last US aircraft carrier has vanished from the Persian Gulf leaves Tehran suspicious of a feint to cover an impending attack. A carrier would be an easier target for retaliation than a US base.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 9, 2013, 7:31 PM (GMT+02:00)
Western optimism on Iran’s nuclear program comes from three major US concessions in Kazakhstan to which Israel strongly objects: Fordo stays open, 20-percent uranium enrichment continues and low-grade Iranian uranium stocks will not leave the country. One Israeli official summed this up for debkafile as “a huge Iranian success and total defeat for Israel.” Significantly, former Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin commented that an Israeli strike against Iran’s nuclear facilities would be “a one-night operation.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 7, 2013, 9:57 PM (GMT+02:00)
Feeling betrayed by the US concessions to Iran at Kazakhstan, Binyamin Netanyahu appoints new defense minister for leading potential solo strike to preempt a nuclear Iran.