Major Israel-US rift over Washington plan to let Tehran continue enriching uranium with sanctions relief

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

Joint US, NATO, Israeli strike awaits Syria

Even though the ‘red line’ was crossed recently, the decision to invade was years ago. Syria is only the next step to the main target: Iran.

The coming DEBKA-Net-Weekly out Friday expands on its disclosure of last week that during his visit to Israel, US President Barack Obama struck a deal with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for military action against Syrian chemical weapons. The new issue will flesh out that decision with exclusive revelations on NATO’s role in setting up the expedition, its participants, targets and ramifications, including likely responses by Moscow and Tehran. Continue reading

‘Khartoum allowing Iran to establish Red Sea base’

Sudanese opposition groups accused Khartoum this week of reaching a secret agreement with Tehran to establish an Iranian military base on the Red Sea.

Anti-government newspaper Hurriyat Sudan cited an unnamed opposition source on Monday as saying that the Sudanese government had struck a deal with Iran for building a base on the Sudanese coast.

Meanwhile, Sudanese rebel group The Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said on Sunday that Sudan’s President Omar Bashir has reached a “very advanced” arrangement with Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to establish a naval base either in Port Sudan or elsewhere on the Red Sea, according to the Sudanese anti-government news outlet Al Rakoba. Continue reading

Khamenei Preparing for a Deal?

There are unmistakable signs coming out of Iran that Supreme Leader Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei is laying the groundwork for a possible deal with the United States. This shift began in February, when Khamenei reaffirmedhis opposition to nuclear weapons on both religious and strategic grounds. The following month, Khamenei praisedPresident Barack Obama’s “good and wise statement” at AIPAC that time for diplomacy still existed, conveniently ignoring that the U.S. leader had also indicated his willingness to undertake military action if necessary. As negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 got underway, Khamenei’s appointees in the clergyjudiciary, and media all sounded a note of optimism. It’s now being reported that Iran is willing to limit the scope of its uranium enrichment.

Most have speculated that Khamenei’s sudden willingness to compromise is the result of his desire to avoid the looming sanctions against Iran’s oil exports. Although there may be some truth to this, at least as important is surely Khamenei’s recent consolidation of power at home. By purging his political competitors, the Supreme Leader has eliminated a significant source of his past opposition to a deal – his fear that his internal opponents would most benefit from it.

The aging Khamenei is also likely thinking of his legacy. Whereas Imam Khomeini is revered for toppling the Shah, creating the Islamic Republic system, and repelling Saddam Hussein’s invasion in 1980, Khamenei’s tenure as Supreme Leader has been rather forgettable. While curbing some of the excesses of the Khomeini era, social and political rights remain restricted, the economy underperforms, and Iran is viewed with suspicion if not hostility abroad. As it stands today, Khamenei’s tenure as Supreme Leader is easily forgotten. By achieving a rapprochement with the United States, Khamenei would ensure himself an eternal spot in Iranian history.

Full article: Khamenei Preparing for a Deal? (The Diplomat)