Iran on Tuesday threatened to restart its contested nuclear program in violation of last summer’s international agreement if the United States and other countries fail to move forward with a massive sanctions relief program aimed at bolstering the Iranian economy, according to comments by a top Iranian leader.
Alaeddin Boroujerdi, chair of the Iranian parliament’s national security and foreign policy commission, warned that the Islamic Republic would “resume large-scale uranium enrichment” if leaders feel the international community is not doing enough for Iran under the nuclear deal. Continue reading
Iran is covertly expanding an underground network of ballistic missile construction and testing sites, despite new U.S. sanctions aimed at deterring the Islamic Republic’s illicit program, which is believed to be focused on the delivery of a nuclear warhead.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, has clandestinely moved to expand a network of front companies that primarily fuel the underground construction of ballistic missiles, according to sources following the country’s procurement system.
Iranian military leaders—who have recently dismissed new U.S. sanctions—are now focused on perfecting intercontinental ballistic missile technology, which would enable Iran to fire a nuclear-tipped warhead over great distances.
Iran maintains the “largest inventory of ballistic missiles in the Middle East,” according to U.S. intelligence assessments. The country has recently been moving materials to underground sites via a complex network of IRGC-controlled companies, according to a brief on the procurement activity released by the Foundation For Defense of Democracies’ Center on Sanctions and Illicit Finance. Continue reading
Sanctions, while having somewhat of an impact on the Iranian economy, are not effective enough. History tells us that third world economies have no bottom — especially those with a solid oil revenue foundation and a long list of alternative clientele. They have also stopped trading oil in dollars.
LONDON — Iran, facing Western sanctions and attack threats, has been
quietly storing millions of barrels of crude oil in the Gulf.
Industry sources said the Teheran regime, which oversees production of 3.5 million barrels per day, was preparing for an international embargo on fuel exports to Iran.
Full article: Showdown: Iran stockpiling oil by the millions of barrels in tankers (World Tribune)
It shouldn’t come as a surprise if Iran has “the bomb” all of a sudden as western powers, the US in particular, have been behind the intelligence curve for at least a decade and has previously been caught by surprise with foreign country technology and capability from time to time.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu advised visiting Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Martin Dempsey Friday, Jan.20 that the time for action against Iran was now, for two reasons: First, the conviction that Iran has passed the point of no return for developing a nuclear weapon; and second, the diminishing prospects for a US-led embargo on Iranian oil to catch on before it is too late.
The Obama administration disputes the Israeli prime minister on both points, insisting there is still time for tough sanctions to incapacitate the Iranian economy and stop Tehran before it reaches the point of no return in its drive for a nuke. Israel insists that this pivotal point was reached four years ago in 2008.
Gen. Dempsey was exhaustively briefed on the Israeli position during his whirlwind interviews Friday with President Shimon Peres, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and three conversations with Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, one with key General Staff officers.
It was not by chance that Maj. Gen. (ret.) Asher Yadlin, until last year Israel chief of military intelligence, maintained in a detailed article in the Tel Aviv daily Maariv: “If Iranian leaders were to convene tonight and decide to go ahead with the secret production of a nuclear bomb, they already possess the resources and components for doing so. This [capability] was once defined as the point of no return. [As matters stand] now, Iran’s nuclear timeline no longer hinges on the calendar; it rests entirely on a decision in Tehran.”
The former intelligence chief was saying that for four years, the US and Israeli governments colluded in propagating the false assumption that Iran had not reached a nuclear weapon capability. Presenting a highly problematic oil embargo in 2012 as capable of putting Iran off its nuclear stride is equally illusory.
Continue reading article: Nuclear Iran is past its point-of-no-return, yet oil sanctions remain on paper (DEBKAfile)