Pakistan’s new army chief: Nuclear ties with Saudis, US exit from Afghanistan, Riyadh’s anti-Iran drive
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis December 1, 2013, 7:22 PM (GMT+02:00)
If Pakistan’s new army chief, Gen. Raheel Sharif, goes through with the transfer of nuclear arms and missiles to Saudi Arabia, he ranges Islamabad on the side of Sunni versus Shiite by lending a Sunni power a nuclear capability versus a nuclear-armed Shiite Iran, whose “nuclear rights” have just been recognized by six world powers. Gen. Sharif must also adapt Pakistan’s armed forces to the US military exit from Afghanistan next year and decide whether to allow Saudi covert operations against Iran to continue from Pakistani soil.
Jerusalem, Riyadh stunned: Obama makes Iran 7th world power on regional issues, including Palestinians
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 25, 2013, 10:04 PM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile exclusive: President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have secretly consented to elevate Iran to the status of seventh world power, for signing the interim nuclear accord in Geneva on Nov. 24, living up to its obligations in the coming six months and then signing a comprehensive agreement. While demanding respect as a regional power, never in its wildest dreams did Tehran expect big power standing with a recognized authoritative role in the wider Middle East, including the Palestinian issue. Jerusalem and Riyadh are aghast.
DEBKAfile Special Report November 25, 2013, 2:53 PM (GMT+02:00)
Certain US media suddenly this week claimed to have broken the news of a secret track used by President Barack Obama for secret negotiations with Tehran through Oman’s Sultan Qaboos. debkafile and DEBKA Weekly in fact uncovered the Qaboos track on Aug. 26, 2013 and were on the trail of those back-channel communications as early as Jan.26, 2012 more than a year ago, when we exposed the early rendezvous US and Iranian emissaries held in secret in Baghdad. The relevant dates of our disclosures are listed below.
Nuclear deal may sink in Geneva between hardline pressures in Tehran and tough Franco-Israel demands
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 18, 2013, 10:40 AM (GMT+02:00)
Washington and Moscow may sound upbeat about the prospects of a signed interim deal at the next round of nuclear negotiations between Iran and the six powers in Geneva Wednesday, Nov. 20. However, according to debkafile’s intelligence and Iranian sources, the way ahead is still bristling with mines, more so even than the first round. Iran’s Hassan Rouhani and Javad Zarif fear retribution at home for yielding, while France and Israel toughen demands. Binyamin Netanyahu reiterates that a “bad deal” won’t bind Israel and brandishes Israel’s military option.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis November 16, 2013, 4:10 PM (GMT+02:00)
French President Francois Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius arrive in Jerusalem Sunday, Nov. 17. Their talks with Israel’s leaders will show if France stands by its independent stance against Washington’s détente with Tehran and is willing to throw in its lot ad hoc with Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt. Their outcome will determine whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu goes to Moscow next Wednesday alone or with French and Saudi backing. The next round of nuclear negotiations in Geneva on Nov. 20 will also be influenced.
Major Israel-US rift over Washington plan to let Tehran continue enriching uranium with sanctions relief
DEBKAfile Special Report November 7, 2013, 10:12 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israel voiced early Thursday, Nov. 7, its utter opposition to the new proposal the US plans to put before the two-day Geneva conference opening later in the day on Iran’s nuclear program. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, when he met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem Wednesday, bitterly accused the Obama administration of yielding to the Russian-backed Iranian position. Should Tehran renege on the deal, the US proposal leaves it with the capacity for enriching enough weapons-grade uranium in 10 days to build several nuclear weapons.
Braced for imminent nuclear accord with Iran, US pulls away from military option, IDF stays on the ready
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 31, 2013, 9:52 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israel’s high command, assuming that an American-Iranian nuclear accord is near its final stage, plans to continue preparations for a unilateral military strike on Iran’s nuclear program into 2014 – hence the IDF’s request for a supplemental NIS3.5bn (app. $1bn) defense budget this week. debkafile: The main body of the accord is complete. All the same, President Barack Obama plans to announce before Christmas that only partial agreement has been achieved and negotiations will continue - to avoid coming clean on the full scope of the deal with Tehran.
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 DEBKA Weekly December 4, 2012, 11:59 AM (GMT+02:00)
The US and Iran launched bilateral nuclear talks in total hush Saturday, Dec. 1, an event DEBKA-Net-Weekly 567 was first to disclose on Nov. 30. Tehran insisted on the session going forward on schedule, while at the same time staging a string of military incidents for racking up tension to strengthen its bargaining position at the table. The latest DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday opened an exclusive window on the secret session and charts the next US and Iranian moves.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 3, 2012, 1:14 PM (GMT+02:00)
Iranian and Pakistani warships had planned a joint Red Sea drill to start Friday, Nov. 30 in Port Sudan. It was rumored in Khartoum that the Pakistani Shashmir carrying nuclear arms or nuclear-related equipment had docked Thursday ready to meet two Iranian warships. Washington then warned Tehran that the US-Iranian nuclear talks due to open Saturday, Dec. 1, would be called off, if this first ever joint drill between a Muslim nuclear power and a close nuclear candidate went ahead.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report August 28, 2012, 1:51 PM (GMT+02:00)
Tehran was forced to eat crow and backtrack on its ploy for winning international recognition for its nuclear program by showing Non-Aligned Summit leaders and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon around its nuclear sites. The tour was planned for Wednesday, Aug. 29. However, debkafile reports that Washington intervened Tuesday and “advised” NAM participants as well as Ban to turn Tehran down on its nuclear tour, which was to have included the suspected nuclear-related explosives testing lab at Parchin.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 15, 2012, 11:57 AM (GMT+02:00)
A new US battle strategy against Iran (ASB) hinges on tightly coordinated air, land, sea, undersea, space and cyberspace capabilities for defeating closure of the (Hormuz) strait, cyber attack, mines, cruise and ballistic missiles. US and Israeli Air Forces, Navies and their special forces are operating on the ABS concept after an Israeli drill which ended in its navy setting up a dense defensive line against enemy sea assault by unconventional weapons. Monday, a large US amphibious marine vessel anchored in Jedda.
DEBKAfile Special Report May 13, 2012, 9:00 AM (GMT+02:00)
The 60 Iranian experts employed by 11 different Iranian agencies controlled by the Iranian Defense Ministry (under the IRGC) were revealed by names and addresses Saturday, May 12, by the opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) in the first ever detailed exposure of a highly secret, central Iranian organization working on building a nuclear weapon. debkafile: Through the secret US-Iranian track, Khamenei told Barack Obama that Fordow will not be shut down. Jerusalem: The evolving US-Iran deal is “bad for Israel.”
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report May 11, 2012, 12:09 AM (GMT+02:00)
Iran’s latest proposals contain a couple of concessions but are essentially a bargaining vehicle for using its clandestine dialogue with the US for acceptance of its nuclear program in one form another but equally important recognition as America’s respected regional partner.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 20, 2012, 9:59 AM (GMT+02:00)
Israel’s Defense Minister Ehud Barak arrived in Washington Thursday, April 19 with tough questions for US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the administration’s dialogue with Iran, on the lines of, “What’s going on? Is there a deal? Don’t tell me what you have settled with the Iranians, just your minimal demands, your bottom line.” Because Israel was in the dark about the dialogue, Barak sought the truth about Obama’s concessions, especially on IAEA inspections, directly from Panetta.
DEBKAfile Special Report April 18, 2012, 9:23 PM (GMT+02:00)
In the direct, secret exchanges between the US and Iran which led up to the Istanbul talks of Saturday, April 14, President Barack Obama quietly backed off from his demand that Iran “come clean” on its nuclear activities and open up to international inspection, debkafile reports. The Iranians may find it worth their while to accept his other proposals, although no word of this deal has reached Israel. Freed of sanctions and international oversight, the Iranians can build a nuclear weapon undisturbed.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 16, 2012, 3:07 PM (GMT+02:00)
The rift over Iran between US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu burst into the open Monday, April 16 when high-ranking Israeli officials close to Netanyahu directly accused the president of reneging on the US-Israeli understandings reached ahead of the Istanbul talks on April 14 between the six powers and Iran. The show biz in Istanbul and Baghdad on May 23, they charged, screened the real nuclear business the US and Iran were contracting in secret contacts through Paris and Vienna.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report April 9, 2012, 7:37 AM (GMT+02:00)
debkafile’s Washington sources disclose exclusively that the Obama administration and Netanyahu government have secretly agreed on “Formula of 1,000” ending the forthcoming Six Power nuclear talks with Iran. It would let Iran keep 1,000 centrifuges for enriching uranium up to 3.5 percent and stock 1,000 kilograms of the same grade uranium, while giving up except for medical research its store of 20-percent grade uranium which can be jumped quickly to weapon quality.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2012, 11:51 PM (GMT+02:00)
The Obama administration is satisfied enough with the progress made in its secret dialogue with Ayatollah Khamenei that it has begun winding sanctions down, starting with exemptions to 11 nations from the oil embargo on Iran.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report March 22, 2012, 11:51 PM (GMT+02:00)
While the Obama administration is pleased with the progress of secret diplomacy with Iran, Supreme Leader Khamenei does not expect practical results despite Iranian concessions on its nuclear program.