DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 19, 2009
US president Barack Obama's tough talk of sanctions has melted into soft soap for luring Iran into further dialogue. Adopting the reverse tactic, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad sounds almost reasonable for a change, even as Tehran pushes its revolutionary goals as pugnaciously as ever.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 18, 2009
debkafile's military sources report that this message Iran's defense minister Ahmad Vahidi brought to Damascus where he is attending a session of the high Iranian-Syrian defense committee which went into its second day Thursday, Dec. 10.
The Iranian visitor indicated that Tehran expects an Israeli attack within a month and wants to be sure its Syrian ally joins Iran in fighting back.
But Damascus is holding back from total commitment.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 12, 2009
Brazilian foreign minister Celso Amorim was in Tehran last week to prepare a state visit by Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva early next year - ten days after president Mahmoud Ahmadienjad was in Brazilia. Last month, both he and Israeli president Shimon Peres visited the Brazilian capital.
Ahmadinejad like Peres faced hostile demonstrations.
However debkafile's diplomatic sources report that President Lula opted for further expanding ties with Tehran and defending Iran's claim that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 12, 2009
German intelligence reports that Iranian scientists have successfully simulated the detonation of a nuclear warhead in laboratory conditions, in an effort to sidestep an underground nuclear test. debkafile's Iranian and intelligence sources report that this development is alarming because detonation is one of the most difficult technological challenges in the development of a nuclear weapon. Mastering it carries Iran past one of the last major obstacles.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 10, 2009
The stakes are rising sharply in the naval competition between Iran on the one hand and the US, the UK and other NATO countries which have a shipping presence in the Persian Gulf, Gulf of Aden and Red Sea off Yemen. America may need to deploy a second carrier.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 7, 2009
Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Wednesday, Dec. 2, that Iran will enrich uranium to 20 percent. Taunting Israel, he said: "The Zionist regime is nothing. Even its masters cannot do a damn thing." For Tehran the nuclear issue is "over." The Islamic republic will "not back down from its rights."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 7, 2009
In a sudden about-turn, Iran released five British yachtsmen Wednesday, Dec. 2, a week after their capture off the Persian Gulf island of Sirri. They were towed into international waters and arrived in Dubai later that afternoon.
debkafile's Iranian sources report that this was one of the few instances in which Iran's spiritual leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei overruled president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 6, 2009
Reduced Iranian cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency is the least of the troubles Tehran has in store for the West. debkafile's counter-terror sources report that Iran Sunday, Nov. 29, moved toward a military confrontation with the United Sates and Britain when its parliament earmarked $20 million to support "progressive currents which resist US and UK illegal activities." Its next gesture of defiance was the approval of 10 new uranium enrichment installations, with construction on five starting immediately.
Tehran is not waiting idly to be attacked.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 3, 2009
Tehran may well break off cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency-IAEA and withdraw from the Non-Proliferation Treaty after the IAEA's 35-nation board of governors Friday, Nov. 27 approved a resolution voicing serious concern about its failure to comply with international obligations and referring the issue to the UN Security Council.
The White House commented that time is running out for Iran. A US official spoke of a "package of consequences" if Iran's non-compliance continues.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 2, 2009
Tehran is thinking in terms of prosecuting the five British yachtsmen seized by Iranian Revolutionary Guards naval commandos on their way from Bahrain to Dubai last month. Tuesday, Dec. 1, Esfandiar Rahim-Mashaie, president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's chief of staff said: "The judiciary will decide about the five... but naturally Iran will take hard and serious measures if we find out they had evil intentions."
debkafile's Iranian and intelligence sources report that the Iranians plan to claim that instruments for tracking aircraft, missiles and electronic jamming devices were found aboard their yacht.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 29, 2009
From the word go on Sunday, Nov. 22, Iran's five-day drill demonstrated that its air force and air defense units were unequal to their mission of keeping the skies over its nuclear sites clear of incoming strike aircraft, debkafile's military and Iranian sources report. In conditions of real war, therefore, Iran's atomic installations would be destroyed in the first hours of an attack.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 28, 2009
Iran launches its huge Modafean-e (Defenders) Aseman-e-Velayat air defense exercise Sunday, Nov. 22, to protect its nuclear sites, after failing to persuade Russia to deliver the linchpin of its air defenses, S-300 missiles.
Our sources report that, aside from the Russian-made Tor-M 1 short-range interceptor, Iran's air defense systems are outdated and pretty useless against US stealth bombers or the Israeli air force's electronic jamming instruments.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 27, 2009
debkafile's military sources report that the UN inspectors' October visit to Iran turned up dual-track progress in support of its nuclear weapons program: Feverish activity was registered in the production of plutonium at Isfahan as an alternative to the Fordo enriched uranium plant near Qom which starts up in 2011.
The IAEA experts discovered 30 metric tons-IS of heavy water hidden in 600 tanks, each holding 13 gallons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 20, 2009
The Iranians are frenziedly digging hundreds of new missile launch silos in central and Western Iran in readiness for a US or Israeli attack on their nuclear installations, debkafile's intelligence sources report. The Iranians are working at the same frantic tempo to turn out Shehab-3, Shehab-4 and Sajil-2 ballistic missiles, as well as a fourth secret ICBM which is believed designed to carry a nuclear warhead.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 19, 2009
The UN nuclear watchdog's report on its inspection of Iran's second uranium enrichment site near Qom says that Tehran's belated declaration of its existence raises questions about more still secret facilities. Iran claimed building of the Fordu facility had begun in 2007 and its notification to the IAEA was therefore timely. The inspectors in its still restricted report refute this claim after finding that work began five years earlier in 2002.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 17, 2009
Sources close to the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna confirm that the four inspectors who visited the newly discovered Fordo site near Qom last month found a fortified underground installation designed especially for the production of highly-enriched uranium for nuclear weapons.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 16, 2009
Iran's parliament (Majlis) Sunday, Nov. 8, granted president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad unlimited control of an estimated $30-50 billion of national treasure under legislation empowering him to cancel government subsidies on food and fuel.
debkafile's Iranian sources report that the president demanded the transfer of subsidy funding to the nation's nuclear and missile programs, preparations for war and measures to offset international sanctions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 14, 2009
Iran is ready to launch its second homemade spy satellite, with the Safir 2 rocket already in position on its pad, debkafile's military and intelligence sources report.
Its success would mean that Iran has attained solid fuel-powered rockets with a range of 2,450-2,450 kilometers, which covers not only all of Israel but reaches as far as the Polish capital of Warsaw. Tehran has also raised output at its uranium mine.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 11, 2009
debkafile's military and intelligence sources report that a mammoth arms train has been running to Hizballah for months via Egypt. They identify the ship which offloaded the arms shipment at the Egyptian port of Damietta, where it was picked up by the Francop as the Iranian Visea, which is now on its way from the British port of Felixtowe to Hamburg, Germany. An international operation is afoot to apprehend the Iranian ship as of Wednesday, Nov. 4, when Israeli naval forces commandeered the Francop near Cyprus with hundreds of tons of Iranian arms bound for the Lebanese Hizballah.