Trump recognizes Golan to counter Iran’s first steps for annexing Lebanon to Syria

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US President Donald Trump’s declared recognition of Israeli sovereignty over the Golan on Thursday, March 21, had a time-sensitive object, unconnected to the Israeli election or Binyamin Netanyahu’s run for reelection, as his rivals contended. DEBKAfile’s military and intelligence sources reveal that it was an arrow aimed by the US president at Iran, Syria, Iraq and Hizballah, and the machinations plotted at Syrian President Bashar Assad’s meeting with Iran’s supreme leader ayatollah Ali Khameini on Feb. 25. Present at their meeting, our sources reveal, were two figures, Al Qods chief Qasem Soleimani, supreme commander of Iran’s Mid East fronts, and, for the first time, a high-ranking Hizballah military official, who is a senior strategic adviser to Hassan Nasrallah. Continue reading

U.S. ‘’Oil Weapon’’ Could Change Geopolitics Forever

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In a dynamic that shows just how far U.S. oil production has come in recent years, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said on Monday that in the last two months of 2018, the U.S. Gulf Coast exported more crude oil than it imported. Continue reading

Report: North Koreans Got Desperate After Trump Walked Away

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(Photo Credit: Shealah Craighead/The White House)

 

Their offer to shutter Yongbyon didn’t come until after the president ended his talks with Kim Jong-un.

We now have a much different view of what happened behind closed doors during the Hanoi summit between President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un that ultimately led to its abrupt ending. Continue reading

Five Eyes

BERLIN/WASHINGTON/BEIJING (Own report) – In the dispute over boycotting the Chinese Huawei corporation, the German government is considering joining a campaign of the “Five Eyes” intelligence-sharing network, it was reported in Canada and Australia. According to the media, intelligence chiefs of the five English-speaking “Five Eyes” countries launched a boycott campaign last July under US leadership. The campaign seeks not only to put pressure on the governments of Five Eyes members Great Britain and Canada, which – for economic reasons – have initially been reluctant to boycott Huawei, but also to increase the pressure on the Germany and Japan. Experts in Australia speculate that, in return for its participation in the boycott, Berlin could become an accepted FIVE Eyes member, something Germany’s Federal Intelligence Service (BND) has been striving to do for years. To “maintain their own technology competence,” EU companies should develop 5G, according to Berlin. German managers, however, are up in arms, fearing falling far behind and never catching up with China.

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CIA has maintained secret communication with North Korea for 10 years

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The United States and North Korea have never had official diplomatic relations, nor have they ever maintained embassies at each other’s capitals. In rare instances, the North Korean Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York has been utilized to pass messages from the White House to the communist country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. No other systematic diplomatic activity between the two sides has ever been reported. Continue reading

Iran To Sail Warships Into The Atlantic, Pushing Near US Waters

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The new Iranian destroyer Sahand sails in Persian Gulf waters, Iranian Army via AP

 

At a moment a US aircraft carrier group led by the USS Stennis is stationed in the Persian Gulf, putting Iran’s military on edge, the Iranian navy has announced plans to deploy warships to the Atlantic starting in March, in a clear attempt to increase the operating range of its forces and extend into the United States’ backyard.

A top Iranian naval commander told the the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) on Friday, “The Atlantic Ocean is far and the operation of the Iranian naval flotilla might take five months,” and also identified that among the deployed vessels will be its Sahand destroyer, touted as Iran’s latest domestic built stealth destroyer. Continue reading

Bolsonaro: Brazil will ‘free itself from socialism’ and ‘political correctness’

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro gestures after receiving the presidential sash. / Reuters

 

In his inaugural address on Jan. 1, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro called for a “national pact” to free the nation of corruption, crime and economic mismanagement and vowed to free Brazil of “ideology.”

“Brazil will return to being a country free of ideological constrictions,” Bolsonaro said, later adding the nation would “start to free itself of socialism” and “political correctness.” Continue reading

Russia sending nuclear-capable bombers to Venezuelan island

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Two Russian Tu-160 supersonic bombers at Venezuela’s Maiquetia International Airport. / AFP / Getty Images

 

In one of the largest Russian military deployments to the region since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, Moscow has sent supersonic bombers to one of Venezuela’s islands in the Caribbean Sea.

Russian military Col. Eduard Rodyukov said the move by President Vladimir Putin was in response to U.S. President Donald Trump’s threat to scrap nuclear treaties. Continue reading

Trump orders US troop pullout from NE Syria. Israel left alone against Russia, Iran

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DEBKAfile notes that this is not the first time that President Trump has decided to pull the 2,000 US troops out of Syria. He decided this in March but was persuaded to hold off by Defense Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. They explained that, as soon as American troops were out of the way, the Russians would move in and take control of the Syrian-Iraqi border and pro-Iranian forces would swarm across. Iran would be gifted its biggest military triumph ever by achieving a land bridge under its control up to the Mediterranean. Hizballah too would be further strengthened. Continue reading

U.S. Fears Iran Planning ‘Massive Regional War’ in Middle East

Israeli Merkava tanks parked near the border with Lebanon, after the area was declared a closed military zone by the Israeli army / Getty Images

 

Trump vows support for Israeli defensive operations after identifying Iran as source of tunnels into Israel

The Trump administration disclosed that Iran is behind the construction of several underground tunnels leading into Israel that Hezbollah militants and other terror forces have been using to conduct attacks, according to multiple U.S. officials who spoke to the Washington Free Beacon and communicated fears that Tehran is preparing to lead a “massive regional war.” Continue reading

Russia Shows Off New Laser Weapon After U.S. Threatens to Pull Out of Missile Treaty

 

Russian state media published video earlier today of its latest laser weapons system, the Peresvet. The move comes just a day after the U.S. said it would likely pull out of a key arms treaty between the two countries, and the timing of the video’s release doesn’t appear to be a coincidence.

“Peresvet laser systems, based on new physical principles, entered combat service in [a] testing regime with the Russian armed forces,” Russian Defense Ministry’s newspaper said, according to an English translation. Continue reading

U.S. gives Russia 60 days to comply with nuclear treaty

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo attends a news conference during the NATO foreign ministers’ meeting at the Alliance’s headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, December 4, 2018. REUTERS/Yves Herman

 

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United States delivered Russia a 60-day ultimatum on Tuesday to come clean about what Washington says is a violation of a arms control treaty that keeps missiles out of Europe, saying only Moscow could save the pact.

NATO allies led by Germany pressed U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a meeting in Brussels to give diplomacy a final push before Washington pulls out of the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, fearing a new arms race in Europe.

“Russia has a last chance to show in a verifiable way that they comply with the treaty … but we also have to start to prepare for the fact that this treaty may break down,” NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters. Continue reading

U.S. Confirms: Iran Successfully Fired Nuclear Capable Missiles

Brian Hook

Brian Hook / Getty Images

 

In violation of ban, Tehran shows off nuke-capable missiles as U.S. pressures Europe to take tougher line

Senior U.S. officials confirmed early Monday that Iran has successfully test-fired multiple nuclear-capable missiles in violation of United Nations restrictions on such activity, drawing a fierce reaction from the Trump administration, which will pressure European leaders this week to take immediate action aimed at countering Iran’s latest military moves. Continue reading

War of Sanctions against Iran

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BERLIN/TEHRAN (Own report) – New US sanctions against Iran have come into effect, without the slightest sign of success for the opposition to the US Middle East policy that had been so loudly proclaimed by Berlin and the EU. Berlin had affirmed, it would do everything in its power to secure for EU companies – particularly German – business deals with Iran, thereby safeguard the nuclear agreement while strengthening the standing of German/EU industry in Iran. The latter has completely failed. German business representatives are warning of the “danger” that German business with Iran “could come to a complete halt.” If this development continues, China – which during the first round of sanctions, had already become Iran’s main trading partner – could further enhance its position in Iran, particularly due to continued oil purchases from Tehran. Contrary to its announcement, the Trump administration did not succeed in entirely cutting off Iranian oil exports. Today, Iran is selling more oil than during the previous round of sanctions.

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US sanctions: SWIFT network suspends Iran banks

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The SWIFT banking network, the backbone for international monetary transfers, said Monday it has suspended several Iranian banks from its service, after the United States reimposed nuclear sanctions on Tehran.

“In keeping with our mission of supporting the resilience and integrity of the global financial system as a global and neutral service provider, SWIFT is suspending certain Iranian banks’ access to the messaging system,” it said. Continue reading