On Aug. 6, the US Defense Security Cooperation Agency, DSCA, informed Congress of the sale to Israel of 60 million gallons of unleaded gasoline, 284 million gallons of JP-8 aviation jet fuel and 100 million gallons of diesel fuel at an estimated cost of two billion dollars. The date is significant, debkafile's intelligence sources find. Ten days earlier, the Japanese tanker M.Star was attacked in Omani waters of the Strait of Hormuz with 200,000 tons of oil.
Although American experts examined the vessel, they never attributed the damage to sabotage by Iran or al Qaeda, despite the latter's claim of responsibility on Aug. 4 While Washington did its best to sweep the incident under the rug, Saudi intelligence were worried enough about the threat inching dangerously close to the Gulf's oil exporting lifeline to launch an independent investigation of the incident.
Their investigators discovered it was staged by a Saudi terrorist who operates out of Iran under the orders of the Revolutionary Guards. To Riyadh, the episode looked like a blunt warning from Tehran to Washington and its allies about the consequences – not just of a direct strike against Iran's nuclear facilities, but the possibility of sanctions upsetting the equilibrium of the Islamic regime.
Blockage of the Strait of Hormuz would cut off Israel's primary source of fuel. Therefore, our sources report, a series of accords, some of them secret, have been transacted to back up America's standing commitment to keep Israel supplied with its energy needs in the event of armed conflict or crisis on world fuel markets.
In its request to Congress to approve the sale, the DSCA noted:
"The proposed sale of the JP-B aviation fuel will enable Israel to maintain the operational capability of its aircraft inventory. The unleaded gasoline and diesel fuel will be used for ground forces' vehicles and other equipment used in keeping peace and security in the region. Israel will have no difficulty absorbing this additional fuel into its armed forces."
debkafile adds: Israel is therefore ready and able to absorb this huge injection of military-purpose fuels.
Tehran published its response through an item on the Tabanak Website on Saturday, Aug. 28. It was headlined in large capitals: ISRAEL ORDERS MASSIVE MILITARY FUEL STOCKS FAR IN EXCESS OF THAT REQUIRED FOR NORMAL OPERATIONS. Our Iranian sources report that this site belongs to Mohsen Rezaei, ex-commander of the Revolutionary Guards and much respected in the highest Iranian military and intelligence circles.
The Iranian site goes on to cite bloggers' comments, the most quoted of which comes from an anonymous ex-US Air Force officer, who wrote on Aug. 27:
"I explained, as I have in the past, how it would be necessary for the US to supply the massive amounts of fuel need for such a [-n Israeli] strike. If Israel were to strike Iran, Israel would only require the massive amounts of jet fuel and over a billion litres of jet fuel would be more that enough to do the job in practical terms."
According to debkafile's military experts, the shelf life of JP-8 jet fuel is not long – no more than six to eight months.
Also Saturday, the Kuwait Al-Rai claimed that Israel is making its last preparations for an attack on the Hizballah missile stores located in Syria close to the Lebanese border, for which an IDF armored division has been called up.