Iran and North Korea working on 80-ton rocket booster
Iranian collaboration with North Korea on a new rocket booster for long-range missiles undermines the deal with Tehran on its nuclear program, key Senate and House Republicans said on Tuesday.
“While the president was undertaking his secret negotiations—which Congress wasn’t informed of—he had to know Iran and North Korea were testing new engines for ballistic missiles to target the United States,” said Rep. Mike Rogers (R., Ala.) chairman of the House Armed Services subcommittee on strategic forces. Continue reading
Iranian Diplomacy’s exclusive interview with Fyodor Lukyanov, columnist for Al-Monitor and editor of the journal ‘Russia in Global Affairs’
- Many in Iran believe that Russia was the winner in Iran’s isolation and the sanctions against this country. Do you agree with such an assessment? With an improvement in relations with the West, do you predict that Tehran would distance itself from its look-to-the-East policy and prefer the European markets to Russia for its energy?
- Relationship based on inability of one of the partners to choose cannot be sustainable. Yes, Russia benefits from absence of Iranian oil and gas on certain markets, but it no strategy at all. Russia is facing huge challenges with the need to diversify its economy, to find new markets in the East, and there is not a right approach to rely on expectations that powerful competitors are removed from the market. Continue reading
Riyadh’s envoy to London slams US ‘incomprehensible rush’ to a deal with Tehran, won’t comment on reports of Saudi-Pakistan nuclear deal
In an acerbic interview shortly before the Geneva interim deal was signed, a senior Saudi diplomat issued a rare direct threat to Iran, warning that “all options are available” should the international community fail to rein in Iran’s alleged drive to acquire nuclear weapons.
The statement from Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi ambassador to London, came as talks between Iran and the P5+1 group of world powers were in full swing in Geneva. Continue reading
Iranian military forces launched a series of “massive military drills” across nine provinces on Wednesday following an order by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, according to state media reports.
The drills, codenamed “Towards Jerusalem,” will continue over the coming days and throughout the rest of the year. Continue reading
The six powers’ negotiating teams sat down in Geneva for resumed nuclear talks with Iran Wednesday, Nov. 20 in a haze of cautious optimism radiating from from Washington, Moscow and London about the prospects of the first accord to be signed with Tehran on a path toward resolving the controversy over its nuclear program.
Still, no one was laying bets on the deal, a preliminary accord providing six months for a comprehensive agreement to be discussed. Continue reading
This is a deliberate attempt to fan the flames of war, as the Russians have done to manufacture a pretext for meddling in Chechnya.
A highly sensitive Saudi tip-off reaching Western intelligence agencies, including Israel, on Nov. 14, gave advance warning that Iran and Hizballah were plotting a major terrorist operation in Beirut as a diversionary stunt, debkafile’s exclusive intelligences sources report. The warning was received three days before twin suicide bombings struck the Iranian embassy in Beirut and the Hizballah stronghold suburb of Dahya Tuesday, Nov. 19, killing 25 people and injuring nearly 150.
It was on debkafile’s desk Sunday, Nov. 17. Continue reading
The US and Russian presidents after bringing all their weight to bear on Tehran have failed to gain an inch toward a possible deal at the resumed nuclear talks in Geneva Wednesday Nov. 20, after being blocked by hardliners at the Iranian end. Tuesday, Kayhan, the mouthpiece of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and the Revolutionary Guards, ran an article telling Foreign Minister Javad Zarif he should not go to Geneva at all.
DEBKAfile’s Iranian sources reveal the red lines with which the Iranian delegation to the talks has been armed for accepting an interim deal with the six powers on their nuclear program: Continue reading
Thursday, Nov. 14, Israel sent the White House in Washington a confidential document outlining blow by blow how and when Iran will attain a nuclear weapon if the Obama-Kerry strategy for dealing with the issue goes through. The document was addressed to the National Security Council headed by Susan Rice, debkafile reports. Communications between the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem and the State Department have almost petered out since exchanges between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry sharpened in tone.
Our Washington sources report that Rice and the NSC have taken a critical stand against the State Department’s policies – not just on the Iranian nuclear question, but also on Saudi Arabia, the Arabian Gulf and Egypt. However, the Israeli document does not take issue directly with Obama administration policies per se. It confines itself to a dry account, step by step, of how the Iranian nuclear bomb program will continue to unfold if the administration’s secret proposition is accepted. Continue reading
Senior Israel official reportedly says Geneva proposal is ‘very bad,’ would quickly lead to Iran becoming threshold state
A senior Israeli official said Sunday that the US was in a rush to reach an agreement with Iran over its controversial nuclear program because it feared that a military option would be the only alternative left if a deal failed to materialize.
“The Americans are anxious to sign a bad deal [with Tehran] because they are worried the only alternative left — without a deal — would be a military strike,” the official was quoted by Yedioth Ahronoth as saying Sunday.
“The deal is very bad. There’s no doubt that if they [the world powers and Iran] sign now, Iran would become a [nuclear] threshold state [a state that can quickly assemble a nuclear weapon] and there would be no deal under which that would prevent Iran from pursuing its nuclear program,” the official added. Continue reading
An agreement between the United States and Iran over the latter’s nuclear program seems imminent, but the charm offensive in Geneva is not mirrored at home. In Tehran, the Iranian government sent a different message with a broadcast on state television of a simulated missile attack on Israel. Continue reading
Israel announced early Thursday, Nov. 7, that it is utterly opposed to the new proposal for Iran’s nuclear programwhich the United States plans to put before the two-day Geneva conference beginning later today .
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, when he met US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jerusalem Wednesday night, 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. Continue reading
Tehran did its utmost to conceal the mystery blast which last week struck the heavy water reactor under construction at Arak in western Iran. It is revealed here for the first time by debkafile’s intelligence and Iranian sources. The explosion, whether accidental or not, will delay for a second time the reactor’s first test with real fuel. Tehran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency in August of a previous holdup. Continue reading