Caspian sea closed for US military

Within this region, this is likely the final nail in the coffin as far as access for the US is concerned. Russia will now have the area 100% secured and sealed off both economically and militarily, yet more so economically as US military units would likely be sitting ducks in an isolated and hostile region. The Caspian Sea was also one of the main reasons for the pre-planned Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008, as a gas pipeline was being brought from the sea into Georgia and on to Europe to help it diversify away from Russia.

A convention on the legal status of the Caspian Sea will keep the sea free from any military facilities except of either Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran or Azerbaijan, according to nur.kz citing Kazakhstan’s KTK Channel.

The accord was reached between foreign ministers of the five Caspian states at talks held in Moscow.

Although the countries have been in dispute over delimitation of the sea bed for the last two decades, the diplomats came up with unanimous decision on alien military presence. Continue reading

Salehi’s Arak “deal” – cover-up for 1,300 kg enriched uranium smuggled to Parchin for secret upgrade

Tehran’s trickery and tactics of misdirection were on full show Saturday, April 19, when Iran’s Vice President Ali Akbar Salehi offered “to redesign” the controversial Arak reactor so that it produces one-fifth of the plutonium initially planned and his claim that this concession had “virtually resolved” Iran’s controversy with the West. But the giveaway was his mock-innocent comment: “We still don’t know why they [nuclear watchdog inspectors] want to visit Parchin for a third time…”

DEBKAfile: For three years, Tehran has denied monitors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) access to this military facility to investigate suspected nuclear explosive tests.

Of deepest concern, say DEBKAfile’s intelligence and military sources, is the way the Obama administration and European Union members are ready to be taken in by Tehran’s deceptions in their ongoing negotiations for a comprehensive nuclear accord. They dispose of one issue after another and stay willfully blind to the true ramifications of their concessions to Iran and its program’s clandestine military dimensions. Continue reading

New Syrian-Iranian chlorine bombs make mockery of US-Russian chemical accord and UN monitors

The household cleaning agent chlorine, in heavy concentration is purchased by Iran and and fitted with  detonators, to provide President Bashar Assad with a vehicle for cheating on his undertaking to surrender Syria’s chemical arsenal under the year-old US-Russian chemical disarmament accord. And Assad is indeed getting away with using chlorine bombs, with crippling effect, especially on children, every few days.

Nonetheless, Sigrid Kaag of the UN Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said Saturday, April 19, that Syria had destroyed approximately 80 percent of its arsenal as agreed under the Kerry-Lavrov accord. At this rate, she said, Syria will have got rid of 100 percent of its chemical arsenal by the April 27 deadline.

The French President Francois Hollande admitted April 20, however, that the Syrian leader had continued to use chemical weapons on the front line, but he denied that definite proof had not been established. Continue reading

Iran to Set Up Naval Zone in Eastern Caspian Sea

TEHRAN (Tasnim) — Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari announced on Wednesday that the Navy will establish a naval zone east of the Caspian Sea.

Speaking in a ceremony to mark the National Army Week in the Northern port city of Bandar Anzali on Wednesday, Sayyari emphasized that the navy has increased its forces’ level of preparedness.

“In the near future a new naval zone will be established east of the Caspian Sea,” the commander said. Continue reading

World View: Pakistan Asked to Send 30,000 Troops to Saudi Arabia

Is Saudi Arabia possibly getting ready to shield themselves from attack after potentially dropping the US Dollar in oil trading?

There are not too many other explanations as to why the Saudi regime would do this, other than to head off a threat to the leadership. Iran, while not allies with the Saudis, have very little motive for invading. The only real power in the world with the ability or possible need to overthrow the government for regime change would be the United States.

Before the second Iraq war took place, Saddam Hussein threatened to drop the petrodollar. Dropping the Dollar from oil trade would collapse the economy. Not just from one nation alone, but more would likely follow if one could get away with it.

Pakistan asked to send 30,000 troops to Saudi Arabia

Reports out of Pakistan indicate that Saudi Arabia has asked Pakistan to dispatch 30,000 troops to the Kingdom as part of a bilateral defense agreement that’s currently being formulated in a flurry of visits and meetings between defense and military officials from the two countries. Pakistan’s prime minister Nawaz Sharif said:

“In view of current challenges, there is a need to further strengthen defense cooperation between the two countries and a new era of strategic relationship needs to start.” Continue reading

Iran cancels plan to have warships approach US borders in Atlantic

After a tense week of diplomacy between American and Iranian representatives, Iran has called off a deployment of warships to the Atlantic Ocean, the semi-official Fars news agency said on Sunday, shelving plans for its vessels to approach US maritime borders in response to the US navy’s presence in the Gulf.

The announcement comes shortly after Iran overturned the death sentence of a former US marine imprisoned in Iran on charges of working for the CIA. The American, Amir Hekmati, has had his sentence reduced to 10 years in prison by a supreme court decision. The commuted sentence is a positive signal for US-Iranian relations, but an ongoing debate over Iran’s nominated diplomat to the UN threatens to derail nuclear negotiations. The diplomat, Hamid Aboutalebi, is barred entry to the US due to alleged links to the 1979 hostage crisis, but Tehran has refused to consider a new candidate.

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Commodities: Iran challenges US sanctions with plans to double oil output by 2018

As already mentioned here a few times, third world countries have no bottom, thus making any sanctions against Iran’s oil industry worthless. The world has a high demand for oil and all sanctions will do is force the oil route to change direction towards another country.

Iran has unveiled plans to double its oil production by the end of the decade and, ignoring sanctions, pump billions of dollars of its currency reserves into developing its share of the world’s largest natural gas reservoir in the Persian Gulf.

The country’s new oil minister, Bijan Zanganeh, has set a new output target of 5.7m barrels per day (bpd) of crude by 2018, according to the official state-run news agency Shana. The latest figures produced by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec), show that Iran is currently pumping about 3m bpd of crude.

Tehran is also sending strong signals to the international community that it plans to press ahead with the development of vast natural gas reserves that it shares with Qatar in the Persian Gulf. Moshtaq Ali-Gohari, head of the National Iranian Oil Company, told Shana over the weekend that the Islamic republic plans to invest almost $14bn (£8.3bn) to develop oil and gas fields that it shares with neighbours in the region. This could signal that Tehran is preparing for the further development of the South Pars field in the Gulf. Continue reading

Israeli launches spy satellite after US refusal to push for Iran’s weapons program’s dismantlement

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided not to delay the launch of Israel’s improved Ofek 10 spy satellite Wednesday night April 9, hours after the six powers and Iran wound up another round of talks in Vienna on comprehensive accord on its nuclear program. Israel decided to show some muscle over the Obama administration’s consent to raise Iran’s weapons program at the next round of nuclear negotiations next month, debkafile‘s Washington and Jerusalem sources report. But this assurance, relayed also to the Saudi government, was not accompanied by information on the points to be raised, or the US response if Tehran continued to maintain that its weapons program is non-existent and therefore not up for negotiation with the world powers. Continue reading

Russian ‘plans for war on Sweden’ cause concern

Russia has intensified its espionage efforts in Sweden to include war preparations, Swedish security service Säpo warned on Monday.

“The most serious threat we see right now is war preparations,” Säpo chief counter-intelligence analyst Wilhelm Unge said at a press conference on Monday.

While stressing that such preparations did not necessarily mean anything dramatic, he said: “It’s no secret that Russia is engaged in this. It’s a little bit worrying.”

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Dempsey claims Israel satisfied the US will use military option against Iran. DEBKAfile: Israel doesn’t say this

Gen. Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the Joint US Chiefs of Staff, flew out of Israel Wednesday, April 2, from three days of talks with Israeli leaders, asserting: “I think they are satisfied we have the capability [to use a military option against Iran]. I think they believe we will use it.”

debkafile sources tracking his talks did not receive that impression from Israeli officials. They did not subscribe to his statement that “Israel and the United States are in broad agreement about the threat that Iran poses to the region and how to deal with it.” Continue reading

Israel report: Iran directed this month’s rocket attacks on Israel

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs asserted that Iran was ordering its Palestinian and Lebanese proxies to attack Israel. In a report, the center cited rocket and improvised explosive device strikes along Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria in March 2014.

“All of these attacks on Israel come in the wake of the green light given by Iran against the backdrop of changing power equations in the broader Middle East,” the report, titled “Iran’s Fortunes Rising in a Middle East Vacuum,” said. Continue reading

Fake US ship spotted in Gulf is a movie set, Iranian media say

A replica of a US aircraft carrier spotted near the coast of Iran is nothing more sinister than a movie set, Iranian media said on Sunday.

Satellite photos showed what looked like one of the US Navy’s Nimitz-class aircraft carriers, complete with planes, rising from Iran’s Gachin shipyard, near the port of Bandar Abbas. Continue reading