With no military threat, Iran has no incentive to stop its nuclear progress. Iran might well conclude that the sanctions could disappear in the course of endless rounds of diplomacy. No one in Israel seeks war, but a central tenet of its own defense doctrine is that Israel cannot depend on any external power to deal with existential security threats.
The coming weeks probably represent the last opportunity for Iran and the international community to reach an enforceable deal that will dismantle Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, before Israel concludes that time has run out, that Iran has gotten too close to creating its first atomic bombs, and that the time for a military strike has arrived. Continue reading
Iranian president-elect Hassan Rohani’s victory in the recent elections demonstrates the hollowness of the argument that stiff sanctions would unite the Iranian people around the regime, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in an interview published Friday in The Washington Post.
“The sanctions were often dismissed because it was said [that] they would get the Iranian people to rally around the regime. Continue reading
Iran-watchers warn against thinking new Iranian president will tamp down regime’s nuclear ambitions
Former government officials and experts say that newly elected Iranian President Hassan Rowhani is not the moderate he appears to be.
Cleric Rowhani is already being hailed in the media as a progressive reformer. He surprised Iran observers across the globe on Saturday by securing a definitive win in the country’s closely watched election.
He was quickly dubbed a moderate maverick who could bring Tehran closer to reticent Western leaders who remain concerned about Iran’s clandestine nuclear weapons program.
Yet Rowhani, who served for years as Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, is expected to present a friendly face to the world as Tehran’s military leaders quietly fulfill their nuclear ambitions, experts said. Continue reading
Should Japan choose to go nuclear, it would only be a matter of months before an ICBM can be deployed. The technology, delivery systems and the material are all there. South Korea would likely have some roadblocks going nuclear, but shouldn’t be too far behind with help from neighbors who have the same security needs.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is undermining regional stability in Northeast Asia, with the present crisis on the Korean Peninsula again prompting the neighboring states into seriously reconsidering their national security policies. This is particularly the case for Japan, against which North Korea has deployed, or so it is widely believed, approximately 200 Nodong missiles. Continue reading
While the chief of the US Pacific Forces (Navy Admiral Samuel J. Locklear III) believes global warming is the top threat, the threat from Pyongyang continues to grow more dangerous as their nuclear weapons technology, capability improve and more ICBMs are deployed. The rest of the world (Russia, China, Iran, etc…) steadily gains leverage over the United States in almost every way possible while it’s sidetracked chasing butterflies. This is the world we live in now. Things do not look good for the ‘free world’s’ future.
WASHINGTON — An unpredictable North Korea, with its nuclear weapons and missile programs, stands as a serious threat to the United States and East Asia nations, the director of National Intelligence warned Tuesday in a sober assessment of worldwide threats.
Testifying before a Senate panel, James R. Clapper delivered the U.S. intelligence community’s overview of global threats posed by terrorism, cyber attacks, weapons of mass destruction, the months-long civil war in Syria and the unsettled situation in post-Arab Spring nations.
The outlook on North Korea comes as the communist regime announced that it was “completely scrapping” the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War and has maintained peace on the peninsula for more than half a century. The Obama administration on Monday slapped new sanctions against North Korea’s primary exchange bank and several senior government officials as it expressed concern about the North’s “bellicose rhetoric Continue reading
An article missed missed now brought to light: As mentioned in a previous post, one shouldn’t be surprised to find out that Iran already has already completed its nuclear weapons program. The last four years from a weak US administration certainly could have allowed them to complete the program, while the next four years from the same administration will allow them to deploy their nuclear arsenal. If readers have been paying any attention to the news of late, they will have noticed that the idea of living with a nuclear Iran is being talked about more often and injected into the soft minds of a gradually conditioned public who normally just ‘goes with the flow’. When an ex-CIA analyst states the intelligence community is underestimating capability and sophistication of Iran, it should be quite noteworthy (and alarming) and it supports the fact of how behind they actually are in determining the enemy’s status.
Iran successfully has built a nuclear bomb with the help of Russia and North Korea and has enough weapons-grade uranium and plutonium for more, according to a source in the Revolutionary Guards intelligence unit.
The source, who has access to Iran’s nuclear program, said the Islamic regime is working out of seven nuclear sites, most unknown to the IAEA, and that its nuclear bomb program is complete.
North Korea has provided the regime with plutonium for nuclear warheads, the source verified, and the last obstacle to overcome is arming missiles with those warheads.
Time and time again throughout history it has been proven that third world economies have no bottom. In Iran’s case, as the world increasingly demands oil, it’s quite easy for it to find another trade partner. Furthermore, time and time again, the current US administration has not learned this — or simply doesn’t care.
Economic sanctions on Iran have failed in their “principal objective” of preventing Tehran from obtaining nuclear weapons, according to a nonpartisan study by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). Continue reading
The third US aircraft carrier, USS Stennis, is moving into place off the Iranian Gulf coast to lead a 12-day naval exercise of 25 nations on Sept 16-27, that will include a large-scale minesweeping drill simulating the breaching of the Strait of Hormuz against Iranian efforts to block oil passage through the strategic waterway. President Barack Obama may see Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on the last day of the exercise. He hopes to present him with proof of US readiness for military action against Iran and demonstrate that an Israeli strike is superfluous.
US officials say the Stennis will replace the Enterprise, but according to debkafile’s military and Washington sources all three carriers will remain in place opposite Iran in the Gulf region in the coming months. British and French warships are completing their transfer to new stations off Iran for the big exercise in which the Saudi and United Arab Emirates navies will also take part.
In addition to practicing tactics for keeping the Strait of Hormuz open, the exercise will simulate operations for destroying Iranian naval, air and missile bases in the Persian Gulf area.
This war game has three additional objectives, reported here by debkafile’s military sources:
1. To forestall an Israeli offensive against Iran, President Barack Obama wants to convince its leaders as well as Gulf rulers that the US-Western military option for disrupting Iran’s race to a nuclear bomb is deadly serious and ready to be exercised when the need arises – although determining “when the need arises” is the nub of the US-Israel dispute.
The exercise winds up Sept. 27, the day penciled in by the White House for Netanyahu to arrive for talks with President Obama and enable him to show his visitor that there is no need for Israel to act.
2. The exercise is intended to convey the same message to Iran, that the US military option is real and genuine and will be exercised unless it halts its nuclear weapons program. The awesome might the US-led coalition is capable of wielding against the Islamic Republic in a prospective war will be brought home to Iran’s military strategists, its Revolutionary Guards, Navy, and Air Force commanders, across their television screens, radar and spy satellites.
3. The drill will assemble massive strength on the spot in anticipation of an Israeli decision after all to cut down the Iranian nuclear menace on its own.
Full article: Massed US, UK, French navies for drill simulating breach of blocked Hormuz (DEBKAfile)
Everyone knows, it seems, that Syria has a deadly arsenal of chemical weapons, but almost no one is curious about how Syria managed to obtain these weapons. Back in 2003, you might recall that after American troops failed to locate Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the mainstream media had a field day.
Prior to that time, experts, security officials, United Nations inspectors and media elites were in unanimous agreement: Saddam had wmd, he had used them several times, and he had the means to continue building more. But the left-wing media didn’t seem to care about Saddam’s brutal track record. All that mattered was that a Republican president got it all wrong, supposedly.
Yet not long after that, we read about a massive chemical weapons attack was narrowly averted in, of all places, Jordan! Despite the large-scale nature of this would-be attack, media coverage was scant.
At the time Jordanian authorities said the weapons came from Syria. This was in 2004. At that same time, theTrumpet.com took it a step further. My father asked in an article back in 2004, “Have some of Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction been found in Jordan?”
There had been, after all, several reports in 2003 of significant truck movement between Iraq and Syria just prior to the U.S. invasion. Additional evidence from seized Iraqi documents during the war indicated that Iraq received assistance from Russia in transporting weapons and missile components across the border to Syria. Even one of Saddam’s former generals said he was “absolutely certain” wmd were transferred to Syria just before the war started in 2003.
Today, with Syria engulfed in civil war and Bashar Assad’s regime teetering in the balance, there is an understandable degree of panic about what might happen to Syria’s chemical weapons in the event of a regime change.
Hardly anyone, though, has bothered to ask about how Syria managed to acquire such a massive stockpile of chemical weapons in the first place. Syria’s short-lived nuclear weapons program was obliterated by an Israeli airstrike in 2007. It hasn’t used wmd on its own people like Saddam did. And it certainly hasn’t had the reputation for being a large-scale manufacturer of wmd. Not like Iraq did before 2003.
And yet last month, when Assad’s government acknowledged that it possessed a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, no one doubted the claim. There were no intelligence reports theorizing that Syria suspended its wmd program years ago—or saying that the stockpiles simply did not exist.
Everyone knows they exist. But no one asks how they got there—because raising that question would expose the media’s shameful record of bias and deception.
Full article: How Did Syria Acquire Massive Stockpiles of WMD? (The Trumpet)
Wednesday, Aug.15, debkafile revealed exclusively that the Obama and Netanyahu were discussing a one-on-one encounter on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session opening in New York on Sept. 18 in order to resume their military and strategic dialog on the Iranian issue broken off by their polar differences.debkafile now learns that those discussions have moved forward. Handled by National Security Adviser Tom Donilon for the US president and senior adviser Ron Dermer for the prime minister, they focus essentially on a four-point plan embodying Israel’s requirements for delaying an attack.
1. President Obama will formally inform the two houses of congress in writing that he plans to use military force to prevent Iran from arming itself with a nuclear weapon. He will request their endorsement. Aside from this step’s powerful deterrent weight for persuading Iran’s leaders to give up their pursuit of a nuclear bomb, it would also give the US president the freedom to go to war with Iran when he sees fit, without have to seek congressional endorsement.
2. To underscore his commitment, President Obama would pay a visit to Israel in the weeks leading up to election-day and deliver a speech to the Knesset solemnly pledging to use American military force against the Islamic Republic if Tehran still refuses to give up its nuclear weapon program. He will repeat that pledge before various other public forums.
3, In the coming months up until Spring 2013, the United States will upgrade Israel’s military, intelligence and technological capabilities so that if President Obama (whether he is reelected or replaced by Mitt Romney) decides to back out of this commitment, Israel will by then be in command of the resources necessary for inflicting mortal damage on Iran’s nuclear program with a unilateral strike.
debkafile’s military sources note that an influx of these top-grade US military resources would bridge the gap between American and Israeli ticking clocks for an attack on Iran, and dispel the fear in Jerusalem that delay would give Iran time to bury its key facilities in “zones of immunity” – outside Israel’s reach for serious damage with its present capabilities.
4. If points 1-3 can be covered – and Netanyahu and Barak are convinced the US really means to strike Iran next spring – our Washington and Jerusalem sources report that Jerusalem may be coming around to agreeing to hold back a lone Israeli attack this autumn
Full article: US-Israeli deal on Iran? No Israeli strike now if Obama pledged a spring attack (DEBKAfile)
These links [1, 2] discuss the probability that Saudi Arabia may soon be taking delivery of Pakistani nuclear warheads to put in the Saudi military inventory, making Saudi Arabia an instant nuclear power. I have addressed this possibility in previous posts, but it looks like this may become a reality very soon. Obviously, Saudi Arabia wants the ability to become a nuclear power immediately if Iran becomes a nuclear power. Since Saudi Arabia reportedly financed much of the development of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, the Saudis likely have a right to obtain a certain number of the Pakistani warheads for themselves when the situation warrants.
There are those who doubt that this arrangement exists, but the reported fact that “at least two giant Saudi transport planes…are parked permanently at Kamra [Pakistan's nuclear air base]” gives strong credibility to the report that the Saudis are ready to receive an unknown number of Pakistani nuclear weapons at a moment’s notice if Iran’s nuclear program indicates it has reached the ability to produce nuclear weapons. Why else would Saudi transport planes be parked regularly at Pakistan’s nuclear weapon-equipped airbase? At the very least, the Saudis want to have as many nukes as Iran. It is also not impossible that Saudi Arabia so fears a nuclear-armed Iran that it would take delivery of the Pakistani nukes to perform a pre-emptive strike on the Iranian bomb facilities. Saudi Arabia is the guardian of Mecca of Medina and sees itself as the leader of the Sunni Islamic peoples. Iran is the leader of the Shiite Islamic people.
This report indicates that it is not only the Israelis and Americans that might be considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia has no intention of ever being dominated by the Shiite Persians. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are both Sunni Islamic nations.
Finally, remember the old adage: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That has historically been a truism in Mideast politics. Iran is the growing enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia, so the Iranian nuclear program is pushing the Israelis and Saudis together as friends of necessity in this matter…whether they expected this to happen or not.
Full article: Saudis Obtaining Pakistani Nukes? (Steven Mcollins)
The motive for this is three-fold:
- Frustration with the unwillingness of the Obama administration.
- A regional threat that continues to grow out of Iran and past remarks of wanting to go nuclear should Ahmadinejad’s regime continue along the nuclear proliferation path.
- Although there’s peace/stability between the two, they’re still not truly allies of Israel.
debkafile’s military sources report that Saudi Arabia has set its feet on the path to a nuclear weapon capability and is negotiating in Beijng the purchase of Chinese nuclear-capable Dong-Fen 21 ((NATO-codenamed CSS-5) ballistic missile.
China, which has agreed to the transaction in principle, would also build a base of operations near Riyadh for the new Saudi purchases.
As we reported last year, Saudi Arabia has struck a deal with Pakistan for the availability on demand of a nuclear warhead from Islamabad’s arsenal for fitting onto a ballistic missile.
Riyadh owns a direct interest in the two most active Middle East issues: Iran and Syria.
Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been advancing for two decades regardless of countless attempts at restraint by every diplomatic tool under the sun and a rising scale of sanctions – to no avail.
Tehran marches on regardless of impediments. In Istanbul, Tuesday, July 3, the six powers and Iran failed the fourth attempt to reach an accommodation on Iran’s nuclear program.
On July 1, they redoubled their military preparedness when the European Union clamped down an oil embargo on Iran. The Saudis, the US Fifth Fleet and the entire Gulf region are since braced for Iranian reprisals which could come in the form of closure by Tehran of the vital Straits of Hormuz to shipping or strikes against the Gulf emirates’ oil exporting facilities.
Tension shot up again when Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched a three-day missile drill against simulated enemy bases in the region – expanding its threats to include US forces and bases in the region, Israel and Turkey.
Full article: Saudis are buying nuclear-capable missiles from China (DEBKAfile)
Israeli political, military and intelligence leaders are uncomfortable with the intensified wrangling between Washington and Jerusalem over the nuclear issue. They frown especially on the way the Mossad, Israel’s external intelligence agency, was dragged into the argument this week, and the way the minority view of one of its retired chiefs, Meir Dagan – that Israel should leave the military option against Iran solely to the United States – was thrown in as though it represented the consensus of Israel’s intelligence chiefs. This was a gross distortion of the truth.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s Washington and Jerusalem sources say that, while making much of the broad areas of agreement on Iran between the Israeli government and the Obama administration, the defense minister was saying clearly that if Israel is resolved to attack Iran, it will have to move quite soon.
He was referring to a three-month timeline for Iran to halt its nuclear projects – after which, starting from the end of May 2012, Israel can wait no longer.
Full article: Obama Has Three More Months to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Progress before Israel Strikes (War Sclerotic)
WASHINGTON — Little love was lost in the March 5 meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Western diplomatic sources.
The sources said Obama may travel to Iran in a bid for reconciliation and that his meeting with Netanyahu pointed to what many are describing as a poisoned atmosphere between the leaders.
“There’s a lot of hate in this relationship, and this is no exaggeration,” the diplomat said.
The sources said Obama, who quietly remains in contact with Teheran’s leadership, warned Netanyahu not to “do anything reckless” regarding military operations in the Middle East.
The sources said Obama sees Netanyahu as an ally of the opposition Republican Party while the prime minister sees the president as ready to abandon Israel, Middle East Newsline reported.
Full article: Report: Obama focused on Iran diplomacy in tense meeting with Netanyahu (World Tribune)
Channel 2 in Israel, sourcing a “senior American official”, says that the decision has already been made by the Israeli government to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.
“All U.S. intelligence officials are confident the Israeli leadership has already decided to attack Iran, unless a significant change happens in the coming weeks or months with the Iranian nuclear program,” Channel 2 reports.
The report comes just hours ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC in Washington.
Full article: Israel’s Channel 2: U.S. Officials Believe Netanyahu Has Already Decided to Strike Iran (The Algemeiner)