A Digest of DEBKAfile Round-the-Clock Exclusives in the Week Ending November 10, 2011

November 4, 2011 Briefs
• China urges Iran to slow nuclear flexibility and cooperate with IAEA. FM spokesman: The last thing the Mid East needs now is the use of force.
• Surgery at Haifa Rambam hospital removes 7 shrapnel fragments from Gilad Shalit's arm.


Nasrallah: Hizballah can fight Israel without Iran or Syria


4 Nov. The Lebanese Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah has briefed his unit commanders on operational plans for firing 10,000 rockets at Tel Aviv and hitting Israel's air force and reserve mobilization bases in a surprise attack, debkafile's military sources report. "The Zionist enemy cannot stand up to a salvo on that scale," he said and assured them that Hizballah is capable of fighting Israel without Iranian or Syrian help.
To boost morale, Nasrallah disclosed the delivery of advanced weapons from Libya and unveiled plans to capture parts of Galilee.
A Hizballah purchasing mission in Tripoli and Benghazi bought the weapons from military units making up the National Transitional Council ruling Libya. Iranian and Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood agents were on hand to pay for the merchandise on the spot.
The Hizballah chief mad a point of warning unit commanders to beware of American and Israeli spies who constantly try to penetrate their ranks. So far, they have not been able to locate the militia's secret rocket-launching facilities.


November 5, 2011 Briefs
• Tension rising on Israel-Gazan border. After Grad exploded near Ashkelon Friday night, Israeli chopper hit another Jihad Islami missile team about to fire. One killed.
• Pakistan moves nuclear weapons to new hiding-places for fear of US attempt to dismantle its nuclear arsenal, the Atlantic and National Journal jointly report.
• President Peres: The military option for Iran is closer today than the diplomatic one.
• Syrian forces kill 23 protesters after Assad committed to Arab League peace deal.
• Millions of Muslims start annual pilgrimage to Mecca.


November 6, 2011 Briefs
• Israeli armed forces and intelligence websites crash. Only open sites affected. IDF spokesman denied cyber-attack, claimed malfunction of servers. Group of hackers threatened to attack Israeli government computers after Gaza flotilla intercepted Friday.
• US and Israel getting set for biggest military drill in their history early next year. Some 5,000 US and Israeli troops will take part.
• Last week Israeli air force conducted join drills at Italian NATO base with Germany and Italy.
• Condoleezza Rice: US should do everything possible to bring Iran regime down – ABC. Never take military option off the table, says former US Secy of State.
• Three bomb blasts kill at least 8 people in Shurja, one of Baghdad's main markets.
• Another two missiles fired from Gaza exploded south of Ashkelon early Sunday. Israeli air force struck second Palestinian missile team Saturday night.


If attacked, Tehran threatens four Iranian missiles to kill a million Israelis


6 Nov. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) new agency Fars headlined a threat Sunday, Nov. 6: Four Iranian missiles can destroy tiny Israel, said the paper in Tehran's first reaction to the flood of conflicting reports about a possible Israel attack on Iran's nuclear sites. The writer is close to Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. However, says debkafile, Iran's leaders are divided on their assessment of the seriousness of an Israeli or American military threat to their nuclear program.
According to those sources the experiences of the Gulf war show that this number of ordinary missiles could not cause anything like the damage calculated by the writer. What Zarey may be referring to are the stubborn rumors going around Western intelligence circles since early 2005 that during the breakup of the Soviet Union, Tehran laid hands on black market nuclear cruise missiles form the Ukraine and 3 to 5 more from Belarus.


US sources: Israel ministers who opposed Iran strike are now for it


6 Nov. American sources told Fox News early Sunday, Nov. 6 that all the senior Israeli ministers who were formerly against attacking Iran's nuclear sites are now for it after receiving updates proving that Iran already has a nuclear weapon. The ministers believe that new sanctions would not be tough enough. debkafile: Washington's uncritical references to Israeli plans signal Tehran that because of the level it has reached in its weapons-geared nuclear program, the US can no longer hold Israel back from exercising its military option.
And so after ten days after feverish, unattributed Israeli news reporting on an imminent attack, the administration has drawn certain lines: Israel should go forward with its plans to strike Iran, while Washington will stress "diplomatic strategy."
This phrase, new to official US comments on the nuclear controversy with Iran, does not rule out the military option. All in all, public US administration comments on Israel taking military action on Iran in own its hands have been unusually mild.


November 7, 2010 Briefs
• Netanyahu: No settlement construction on anyone's private land. He added: The 2,000 new housing units ordered expedited last week "will remain Israel's sovereign territory in any agreement.
• Israeli tank fire stopped Palestinians rigging explosives on Gaza-Israeli border fence. The Palestinians report three injured.
• Labor court reduces Israel's general strike to first two working hours of Monday. Trade unions federation declared strike on behalf of uncontracted hired workers.


How US and Israel let Iran get a nuclear weapon


7 Nov. New revelations from US intelligence sources confirm day by day that Iran has attained a nuclear weapon capability: Implosion experiments at Parchin were uncovered Sunday; the six-year old ability to build detonators for triggering a nuclear chain reaction was reported Monday. Stuxnet which invaded Natanz in June 2010 delayed but did not derail Iran's forward march towards a weapon. The US president and Israeli prime minister vowed never to let Iran attain a nuclear capability. So what are they going to do now?
Monday, Nov. 7, a Russian nuclear expert Vyacheslav Danilenko was named as having taught the Iranians how to build the R265 generator used for the implosion in the Parchin experiment.
Since by 2005, Danilenko was back home in Russia, Iran must be concluded to have mastered the critical nuclear detonation technology as far back as six years ago and for six years, US and Israeli governments have kept their people in ignorance of Iran's nuclear menace.


November 8, 2011 Briefs
• Qassam missile fired at Sderot Tuesday night explodes on empty ground.
• Key Security Council committee fails to reach consensus on Palestinian application for UN statehood.
• Medvedev: Increasing anti-Iranian rhetoric could lead to Mid East catastrophe.
• High Iranian Guards commander threatens to kill dozens of American commanders if the US kills one of theirs.
• Ahmadinejad: If America confronts Iran it will regret the response. He branded IAEA head an "American pawn".
• Thousands of Jewish pilgrims congregate at Rachel's Tomb, Bethlehem for her commemoration.
• Syrian troops move into Homs residential district Monday night after 6 days of tank shelling, scores dead.


Obama flips on crippling sanctions, leaves Israel, Saudis facing Iran


8 Nov. US President Barack Obama is backing away from crippling sanctions on Iran's central bank and an embargo on its oil trade. This happened shortly before the International Atomic Energy Agency was due to confirm Tuesday or Wednesday, Nov. 8-9 that Iran's clandestine military nuclear program had reached the point of no-return, and after Israel intelligence experts found that only a decision in Tehran separated Iran from the ability to build a weapon.
Obama was swayed by three considerations:
1) Because it is too late; 2) Because sanctions on Iran's financial and oil transactions would disrupt the world's oil markets and economies; 3) Because Russia and China would cast their vetoes at the Security Council.
Israel's defense minister Ehud Barak stressed that Israel's existence was not at stake either from Iran's missile or Hizballah's rockets. In the last resort, Israel must make its own decisions about preserving its security, but he promised they would be made responsibly.


After IAEA report, Israel says military option can wait for sanctions


The UN nuclear watchdog (IAEA) began circulating is much-awaited Iran report Tuesday night, Nov. 11 to Security Council and IAEA board members. According to the first leaks, the agency has no doubt that Iran is working on developing atomic weapons: Its clandestine computer-simulated and practical tests on nuclear detonators, uranium enrichment at hidden sites and tests for adapting nuclear warheads to missiles have no explanation other than work on components for a nuclear weapon.
Israel's initial response is to give sanctions a last change and hold its military option in abeyance for the weeks needed to put them in place, so long as they are tough enough to disrupt Iran's central bank and its oil industry. However, the Obama administration has already foresworn these penalties.
debkafile reported earlier Tuesday.


Second Iranian threat to destroy Israel names Dimona reactor


9 Nov. For the second time in four days, Iran has threatened to annihilate Israel. Sunday, Nov. 6, Tehran said four missiles would be enough to kill a million Israelis. Wednesday, Nov. 9, Gen. Masoud Jazyeri, deputy commander of Iran's armed forces, said an American or Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear facilities would not only result in the Jewish state's extinction – "Dimona is the most accessible target" – but generate a response that "would not be limited to the Middle East."
debkafile's Iranian sources report this muscle-flexing is a sign of mounting edginess in Tehran as the debate in the United States and Israel over the need for a military operation against Iran gains momentum in the light of the UN nuclear agency (IAEA)'s exposure of its nuclear program as weapon-focused.


November 10, 2011 Briefs
• Khamenei: Anyone thinking to attack Iran should get ready for a strong slap and an iron fist.
• Israel's Supreme Court rejects ex-president Moshe Katsav's appeal against his conviction for rape and sexual harassment and seven-year sentence. Katzav begins serving time on Dec. 7 ending his five-year legal battle.
• Egypt's natural gas supply to Israel and Jordan halted for seventh time by sabotage. A remote-controlled explosive device set the Sinai pipeline on fire 30 km south of El Arish.
• US official: Several Arab rulers offered Bashar Assad asylum to quit Syria.
• France and Germany open talks on a new slimmed-down European bloc to replace the European Union, financial sources report.


UK expects Israeli attack on Iran next month with US logistical support


10 Nov. British government ministers have been told to expect Israeli military action in the wake of the UN watchdog report "as early as Christmas or very early in the new year," the London Daily Mail reported Thursday, Nov. 10. They were told Israel would strike Iran's nuclear sites "sooner rather than later" – with "logistical support" from the US. A major US concern is said to be that a nuclear-armed Iran would spur the Saudi Arabia and Turkey into developing their own weapons.

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