DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 26, 2015
China has jumped aboard the Russia-Iranian military alliance in Syria by sending the aircraft carrier Liaoning-CV-16 to Tartus, to await the arrival of a squadron of its J-15 Flying Shark fighters. As Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Barack Obama smiled and sat down in the White House to discuss improving relations, Beijing showed muscle - not just in the South China Sea but in the Mediterranean too, turning the Middle East strategic situation on its head.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report September 7, 2015
The world’s largest submarine, the Dmitri Donskoy (TK-208), Nato-coded Typhoon, is sailing towards Syria, debkafile reports exclusively. Aboard are 20 Bulava intercontinental ballistic missiles, each carrying 6-10 MIRV nuclear warheads. The Russian sub, escorted by two anti-sub warfare ships, is due to arrive in Syrian waters in 10 days time and so top up the new Russian military deployment in Syria. The coming DEBKA Weekly reveals Moscow’s operational planning for this mighty force and its potential impact on US Middle East policy – and Israel.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 13, 2015
A 200-truck convoy rolled out of the Hizballah-Syrian positions around the strategic town of Zabadani, early Thursday, Aug. 13. debkafile: Their exit, after failing to break the Syrian rebels’ grip on the town, marked the Hizballah’s first retreat from a major Syrian battleground in the three years of its intervention in the Syrian war alongside Assad’s army. The withdrawal followed visiting Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif’s talks in Beirut Tuesday with Hizballah chief Hassan Nasrallah and with President Bashar Assad in Damascus the next day.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 13, 2015
The US, Russia and Iran combine to launch a new Middle East venture for resolving current conflicts in ways that are expedient to all three. The Saudis prefer their own path and choices.
DEBKAfile Special Report August 7, 2015
The Obama administration’s battle for congressional endorsement of the nuclear deal signed last month with Iran received a double reverse Friday, Aug. 7, when two influential Democrats, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who is expected to take over as Senate Democratic leader in 2017, and New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, announced they would vote against the accord. They cited weaknesses of the inspection regime. Secretary of State John Kerry said he "profoundly disagrees" with their reasoning. But fellow Democratic lawmakers were impressed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 3, 2015
With US Secretary of State John Kerry due in Qatar Monday, Aug. 3, to ease Gulf security concerns about the Vienna nuclear accord with Iran, the highest authorities in Tehran Sunday, Aug. 2, launched a public campaign in support of impending ballistic missile tests. This would flaunt Tehran’s non-acceptance of their prohibition under the Vienna nuclear accord and UN Security Council Resolution 2231 of July 20. The students of nine Tehran universities and Qom seminaries called on army chief Maj Gen. Hassan Firouzabadi, to immediately stage long-range ballistic missile tests to invalidate the ban..
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report July 22, 2015
In defiance of the arms embargo, Iran has placed an order for 100 Russian IL78 MKI tanker aircraft for refueling its air force in mid-flight, debkafile reports exclusively. The transaction runs contrary to the terms of the nuclear accord the six world powers and Iran signed in Vienna earlier this month. These tanker planes can simultaneously refuel 6-8 warplanes. Their acquisition brings Israel, 1.200km away – and the Middle East at large - within easy range of Iranian aerial bombardment. It puts Iran ahead of Israel in mid-air refueling resources.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report June 29, 2015
When Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Sunday, June 28: “We are seeing a clear retreat from the red lines that the world powers set recently and publicly,” he meant three major US concessions approved in the days leading up to a nuclear deal with Iran: debkafile discloses The US no longer holds Iran accountable for past clandestine nuclear weapons tests; has empowered Tehran to permit or bar international inspections; and set out unconditional sanctions relief in three tight stages. Obama’s pledge to “snap back” sanctions for violations is history.
Kerry’s refusal to be “fixated” on Iran’s former nuclear misdeeds fits the US pattern of indulging Tehran
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis June 17, 2015
President Barack Obama is about to make his most substantial concession yet to Iran by agreeing to release only one part of their nuclear accord, while keeping the technical protocols secret. Senior US negotiator Wendy Sherman fought hard to get both parts released, but was overruled. The 50 pages of the nuclear accord’s practical annexes embody the adage that the devil is in the detail. But Obama may choose to keep it secret from Congress, the American public and US allies, while Iran is given free rein to pursue its objectives.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 17, 2015
The US Delta Special Operations raid that killed ISIS oil chief Abu Sayyaf Saturday, May 16, could not have taken place without prior US coordination with Damascus and Moscow. debkafile: Washington’s denial of coordination did not preclude a prior notice to Moscow, which then passed it on to Damascus. The operation therefore fixed another Middle East landmark: The US, Russia and the Assad regime pulled together for the first time against the Islamic State, for an operation that was more extensive than reported. Not one, but five top ISIS commanders, were killed
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 14, 2015
Obama sought out Putin to approve a no-fly zone in Syria to meet the Gulf’s demands for Assad’s head as proof that he his promise to defend GCC members security was on the level.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 7, 2015
The US president is trying to separate the IRGC from its Al Qods Brigades, offering the first a clear road to eased sanctions, while leaving them in place for the Brigades. This amputation is too artificial to work.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 2, 2015
There was never any chance of the Iranian accepting any limitations on its nuclear program and so the negotiations led by US with the world powers was always a farce.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis April 2, 2015
Up until Thursday, April 2, the American and Iranian negotiators seemed locked in a mighty battle over the pace of sanctions relief, research and development, international inspections and the quantity of low-enriched uranium retained by Iran after shipping its stockpile overseas. But the real gridlock is over procedure: President Barack insists on a signed deal however long it takes, while the Iranian team is bound by the supreme leader’s directive to reject the two-stage process, only the one to be completed by June and include the removal of all sanctions.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 29, 2015
President Barack Obama and John Kerry promised that the nuclear deal to be signed with Iran in Switzerland this week would give the world powers a year’s warning from the Islamic Republic’s break out to an operational weapon. debkafile: To clinch the framework deal in Lausanne, even this concession, which imperils Israel, the Gulf and the Middle East at large, was not enough. The president authorized the US delegation to fall back again and cut the space granted the world powers for reaction to breakthrough from a year to six or seven months:
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis March 21, 2015
President Barack Obama failed to shift French President France Hollande from his objections to the nuclear accord taking shape between the US and Iran in the call he put through to the Elysée Friday night, March 30. US Secretary of State John Kerry fared no better Saturday, when he met the British, French and German Foreign ministers in London to line the Europeans up behind the American position. Germany balked too. France wants Tehran first to account for evidence of past development work on a nuclear warhead design. Tehran will never admit this.
DEBKAfile Special Report March 20, 2015
debkafile’s exclusive Iranian sources report that the delegation to the nuclear talks in Lausanne were ordered by Tehran Friday, March 20, to break off the deadlocked negotiations and return home for consultations. Foreign Minister Mohammed Jawad Zarif used the funeral of President Hassan Rouhani's 90-year-old mother as a pretext for packing their bags and quitting. Russia’s Sergei Ryabkov said gaps remain on the length of an agreement, the pace of sanctions relief and international monitoring, with no chance of an accord before June 30.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 19, 2015
The Obama administration has embarked on a bid to come to terms with Bashar Assad to lure Tehran into signing a nuclear accord. An end to the Syrian war would disburden Iran of its colossal ongoing investment in keeping Assad in power.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 12, 2015
Disaffection with US-Iranian nuclear diplomacy has spilled over into the Iranian street and raised hackles too in Moscow, Berlin, Paris and Washington.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 5, 2015
Obama and Netanyahu will continue to bicker amid uncertainty about whether Khamenei will actually sign the done nuclear deal between US and Iranian negotiators.