Riyadh and other Gulf capitals reportedly will insist they will have ‘whatever the Iranians have,’ as Camp David summit gets underway
Saudi Arabian officials are warning that they will seek to match Iran’s nuclear arsenal, a US newspaper reported Thursday, as US President Barack Obama and leaders from six Gulf nations — including Riyadh — convened outside Washington to work through tensions sparked by the US bid for a nuclear deal with Tehran, a pursuit that has put regional partners on edge.
Along with Saudi Arabia, smaller Arab countries also say they also plan to pursue a nuclear weapons program to offset Iran’s, portending a much-feared nuclear arms race in the Middle East, according to the New York Times.
“We can’t sit back and be nowhere as Iran is allowed to retain much of its capability and amass its research,” one Arab leader attending the Camp David summit told the New York Times. Continue reading
It should be known that Russia also plays the game of pretending to reduce their nuclear stockpiles, often claiming their latest missiles are classified as anything but long-range. The only country playing honest is the United States, which has a false sense of security and has developed the illusion that total disarmament would be a demonstration of moral strength.
SINGAPORE – How many nuclear weapons and delivery systems does a country need as an effective deterrent against the threats of attack? Finding an acceptable balance is critically important in Asia, where four of the world’s nine nuclear-armed states are located.
The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) reported in June that all four Asian nations with nuclear weapons — China, India, Pakistan and North Korea — appeared to be expanding their arsenals while the United States, Russia, France, Britain and Israel were either reducing them or holding the number static. Continue reading
Iran can produce a nuclear weapon in just over a year and diplomatic efforts have just less than that to halt Iran’s drive to the bomb, US President Barack Obama said Thursday, intimating that should diplomatic efforts fail this year or early next year, America will be forced to carry out military action against Iran.
Contrary to statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the moment of truth concerning Iran’s nuclear program was spring 2013, Obama said that the US estimates that Iran can produce a bomb only in about a year given its current rate of progress.
“There is a window, not an infinite period of time, a window of time where we can resolve this diplomatically,” Obama said. ”Right now we think that it would take over a year or so for Iran to actually develop a nuclear weapon, but we obviously don’t want to cut it too close.” Continue reading
It is still the hardest place to find. A glade down an overgrown path which seems like any other clearing in the endless woods of Brandenburg. But on its floor, there is a strip of concrete half the size of a tennis court, with a metal plate in the middle.
This is the launch-pad for a nuclear attack on Western Europe. Soviet nuclear missiles 20 times more powerful than Hiroshima were set up here, primed to be fired at targets including London and nuclear bases in eastern England. Continue reading
The United States has been forewarned for years about an American Hiroshima. The current administration turns a blind eye to unabated smuggling networks across the Mexican and Canadian borders so as to be politically correct. God only knows what else they are, and have been smuggling. Obama has yet to even call the Benghazi attack an act of terrorism. If anyone should doubt the reality of such an event happening, they should keep in mind what JFK had to say during his presidency 50 years ago:
“If things get too bad and war is inevitable,” he said, “they will set it off and that’s the end of the White House and the rest of the city.”
That’s right, you guessed it. The Soviets likely had a nuke in Washington DC.
This is not to ‘fear monger’ as superficial critics would say, but to be a watchman, warn and wake people up. God forbid this actually happens, and such an act (or any act of terrorism) will never be condoned here, but the threat is real. If they could do it then, the terrorists could do it now — especially with today’s technology at their disposal.
The United States today couldn’t be any more vulnerable than throughout its entire history, in a time of unprecedented danger throughout such a fractured world ready to fall into the abyss with even the slightest push. Stop trying to keep up with the Kardashians, disassociate yourself from the mindless shopping mall regime that America has become today, read your Bibles and wake up. We are living in extraordinary times.
Terrorist groups have acquired a “container” to smuggle uranium undetected past the global network of sensors to prevent a dirty bomb, the head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog has warned.
Speaking in London, Yukiya Amano of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said groups’ efforts to build a dirty bomb were becoming “more professional”.
It was particularly worrying, he said, that smuggling networks had hold of technology to evade sophisticated monitoring equipment designed to prevent proliferation of radioactive material. Continue reading
The US Senate on Saturday passed by a 90-1 vote a non-binding resolution insisting that the United States prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons and ruling out any strategy aimed at dealing with a nuclear-armed Iran.
The only senator to vote against the resolution was Republican Rand Paul, a Tea Party and libertarian favorite, who argued that it was a de-facto declaration of war.
Full article: US Senate insists Washington prevent nuclear Iran (Jerusalem Post)
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 clergy, judiciary, 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)
In a simulation war game featuring Israelis in senior positions, Israel loses 10 fighter jets in a strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities and manages to set back the Iranian nuclear program by seven years. An angry President Barack Obama takes no steps against Israel but also refuses to intervene on its side.
In the war game, conducted by Makor Rishon newspaper, the strike takes place on October 16, 2012, just three weeks before the U.S. election.
Full article: War Game: Israeli Air Strike Deals Severe Blow to Iran Nukes (Arutz Sheva)
Iran can survive for years without selling oil, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed Tuesday, according to Fars news. “Even if we didn’t sell oil for two to three years, the country would manage easily,” he said.
The European Union is planning to ban Iranian oil in an attempt to pressure Ahmadinejad to drop the country’s nuclear program.
Full article: Ahmadinejad: Iran Can Go Years with No Oil Sales (Arutz Sheva)
The Obama administration and its European allies plan to open new negotiations with Iran by demanding the immediate closing and ultimate dismantling of a recently completed nuclear facility deep under a mountain, according to American and European diplomats.
They are also calling for a halt in the production of uranium fuel that is considered just a few steps from bomb grade, and the shipment of existing stockpiles of that fuel out of the country, the diplomats said.
That negotiating position will be the opening move in what President Obama has called Iran’s “last chance” to resolve its nuclear confrontation with the United Nations and the West diplomatically. The hard-line approach would require the country’s military leadership to give up the Fordo enrichment plant outside the holy city of Qum, and with it a huge investment in the one facility that is most hardened against airstrikes.
Full article: U.S. Defines Its Demands for New Round of Talks With Iran (NY Times)
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on thursday expressed his support of Iran’s nuclear ambitions. In a statement issued by Ahmadinejad’s office, Erdogan was quoted as saying: “The government and nation of Turkey has always clearly supported the nuclear positions of the Islamic republic of Iran, and will continue to firmly follow the same policy in the future.”
Ahmadinejad thanked Turkey for its “clear and frank” stance on the issue, the statement added.
Full article: Turkey voices support for Iran nuclear programme (Ahram Online)
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)
It should be no secret that the Saudis are both fed up with the Obama administration and seek an end to the Iranian regime. They have even threatened to go nuclear should Iran be allowed to continue its nuclear program.
Hardly a day goes by without the Obama administration pointing out in some US media outlet the futility, wrongheadedness, hazards, superfluity etc. of Israel military action for pre-empting a nuclear Iran. The public has been informed, for instance, that it would only set Iran’s program back by a year, and that the ayatollahs have put their nuclear bomb program on hold. So what’s the hurry?
But about the equally strenuous White House effort to hold Saudi Arabia back from attacking Syria as well as Iran – hardly a word sees the light of day.
The fuss and pother about Israel’s intentions distract attention from the very real fears in Washington about the Saudi royal family’s plans for military action against Iran and its allies, Syria and Hizballah, and Riyadh’s efforts to draw the heads of the Gulf oil emirates into the action.
Riyadh puts no trust in the sanctions and embargo Washington and its Western allies have put in place to curb Iran’s nuclear aspirations. Instead, they see sanctions becoming a boon for Tehran
Tuesday, March 20, oil fell by only 1 percent after the Saudis announced their most detailed steps yet to make good on any shortfalls generated by the embargo on Iranian oil and the cutoff from March 17 of Iran’s banks from transactions through the Belgian-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications (SWIFT), which facilitates most of the world’s bank transfers.
Money in Iran’s pocket from sanctions-boosting oil prices
Saudi Arabian Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi announced the kingdom was pumping 9.9 million barrels per day – the highest level in decades – and was willing to turn the taps up to a maximum capacity of 12.5 million bpd to meet its customers’ every request.
Iraq, too, added 30,000 barrels per day to its production of 2.1 million bpd.
But these steps failed to reverse the upward price trend.
And the sanctions’ deleterious impact on Tehran was offset by profits from skyrocketing oil prices: Not only were the extra costs of circuitous trade routes covered, but the declining value of the Iranian rial flattened.
“We are ready and willing to put more oil on the market, but you need a buyer,” Al-Naimi said bitterly, aware that no matter how much more oil Saudi Arabia may pump, Tehran is still ahead of the sanctions game. Only if China, Japan and India can be persuaded to line up behind the Obama administration and make genuine cutbacks in their oil purchases from Iran, would the topped-up Saudi oil production come into play.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources in the Gulf report that the Saudis suspect the Obama administration of publicly talking up the latest round of sanctions (Barack Obama: “We’ve applied the toughest sanctions ever on Iran”), while assuring Tehran in quiet talks (See the item in this issue about secret US-Iranian talks), that, so long as they keep the dialogue going, sanctions will put Iran in the black.
US stalls British-Saudi arms sales
This week, US acted to stymie Saudi operations in two key arenas:
1. Iran was the first: They suspect the White House of ordering US International Traffic in Arms (ITAR) to stall the sale of British precision-guided Paveway IV bombs developed by Raytheon UK, a weapon that would enable Saudi Arabia to attack key Iranian Persian Gulf sites, such as its naval bases on the Sirri, Abu Musa, Greater Tunb and Lesser Tunb islands around the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and strategic locations on Iran’s Persian Gulf coast.
The Saudis believe the US administration is deliberately keeping those assault weapons out of their hands to frustrate a potential attack on Iran.
They had pinned their hopes on British Prime Minister David Cameron interceding on their behalf with President Barack Obama during his visit to Washington in mid-March and getting the weapons released to Riyadh.
But the bonhomie and shared jokes aside, Cameron made no headway in budging the US president from his opposition to the sale, although British interests are also at stake. The sale to Saudi Arabia of 72 Eurofighter Typhoons delivered by BAE Systems (the combination of British Aerospace and Marconi Electronic Systems), is still up in the air because without the precision-guided bombs, those bomber jets are not much use to the Saudis.
Washington stops Jordan allowing Saudi troops transit to Syria
2. The Obama administration is firing every stratagem in its quiver to hold Saudi Arabia back from military intervention in the Syria crisis.
DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s sources in the Persian Gulf disclose exclusively that, two weeks ago, SaudiKing Abdullah secretly asked Jordan’sKing Abdullah for permission to send Saudi military forces into Syria by way of the Hashemite Kingdom.
Senior Saudi princes, including Saudi Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, had already been in touch with their Jordanian counterparts to discuss detailed plans which designated the routes Saudi forces would take, the Jordanian bases they would use and the Saudi Air Force’s tactics for covering the advancing Saudi troops and shielding the Kingdom of Jordan against potential Syrian air force action.
The Saudis plan to send troops in to the Syrian Druze Mountains and Horan regions for setting up safe havens to protect the beleaguered civilian population from Syrian military and security forces.
On March 15, Prince Salman attended a military parade on the grounds of the Eighth King Fahd Brigade in Tabuk in northern Saudia near the Jordanian border.
It was attended by a high-powered lineup: Chief of Staff Gen. Hussein Al-Qubail, Gen. Abdul Rahman Al-Binyan, Director General of the Prime Minister’s office, Gen. Prince Khaled bin Bandar, commander of Land Forces, and Maj. Gen. Eid Al-Shalawi, Commander of the Northern Region.
The parade of military prowess and resolve was mean to impress on Jordan that the Saudis were serious about getting a force into Syria through its territory.
The two Abdullahs in deep discord
This Saudi plan was soon nipped in the bud.
Riyadh was informed that US officials had warned the Jordanian monarch against acceding to the Saudi request. Stuck in an impasse, the Hashemite king stopped answering insistent Saudi calls for clarifications.
Seeing their plans for intervention in Syria in ruins, the Saudis decided to get their own back.
In an unprecedented move against a fellow Arab ruler, they arranged for an Arab diplomat, who remained anonymous, to inform the Omani Gulf News agency that Saudi arms were being pumped to the anti-Assad Syrian rebels and the first shipment was on its way to destination through Jordan.
By spilling the beans about Jordan’s clandestine role in this traffic, Riyadh exposed the kingdom to Syrian punitive action.
This maneuver brought the Jordanian king hurrying over to Riyadh for a secret visit.
Our sources report that when he tried explaining to the Saudi king that if Assad was toppled his successors would be worse, he was brusquely brushed aside. Saudi King Abdullah, who is twice the age of the Hashemite royal, reproved him sharply and told him it was time to make up his mind on which side he was in the Middle East.
The two kings Abdullah parted in deep discord.
Saudis are gunning for the US and Turkey
As for Syria, Bashar Assad will have understood by now that Riyadh is rolling up its sleeves for military action against him as soon as a way can be found. Four complications are unfolding:
First: The disclosure that weapon shipments to anti-Assad rebels were passing through Jordan has revived the Saudi pledge of a military and air shield for the Hashemite Kingdom against Syrian aggression. This may lead to military and aerial clashes between Syria and Saudi Arabia on Jordanian soil very near the sensitive junction of Jordanian, Lebanese and Israeli borders.
With this eventuality in mind, Riyadh is reported by DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military sources to have selected the Druze Mountains and Horan region as potential safe havens for persecuted Syrians.
Second: Saudi-US relations are in sharp decline: Riyadh’s Syrian initiative is an act of protest against Washington’s decision to refrain from military intervention to stop Assad’s brutal suppression of the revolt in Syria – even after at least 8,000 Syrian civilian deaths.
The encounter three weeks ago in Tunis between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, ended with Faisal angrily stalking out with words to the effect of: if you don’t take action against Bashar Assad, we will.
The Saudis fully intend now to make good on that threat.
Third: The Saudis are gunning for Turkey. They intend to show up Ankara’s toothlessness in the fight against Assad in contrast to its leaders’ high rhetoric about their prowess as a Middle East Muslim superpower.
Most of all, they can’t abide Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s pretensions as go-between for the back-channel dialogue the Obama administration is conducting with Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (See a separate item in this issue.)
Fourth: Riyadh finds it essential to counteract Iran’s airlift of arms and equipment into Syria through Iraqi airspace. The Saudis refuse to stand by idly while Iran enhances its position in Syria and Iraq.
Full article: Obama Holds Saudis Back from Striking Iran – and Syria Too (DEBKAfile)
For those who would dismiss this possibility, it should be noted that even during JFK’s term the Soviets likely had an atomic bomb planted in Washington, DC — according to JFK himself.
Last Thursday I had the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Hugh Cort, author of The American Hiroshima: Iran’s Plan for an Attack on the United States. Related to this interview, readers may listen to my interview with CIA agent Reza Kahlili, who agrees with Dr. Cort that a nuclear Iran cannot be deterred by the threat of Mutual Assured Destruction. According to Dr. Cort, “[D]eterrence will not work with the fanatical Islamic radicals that rule Iran. These rulers are like suicide bombers, who do not care if they die, as long as their victims get blown up as well.”
In his analysis of Islamist motivation, Dr. Cort follows the work of Reza Kahlili, who affirms that the leaders of the Islamic Republic believe in a ruthless ideology. “If you read [the] Koran, many verses talk about killing enemies of Allah and infidels,” Kahlili explained. “And there is no mercy, absolutely none, unless you convert to the religion. Nobody can say otherwise. Allah is a dictator…. Many Muslims will be offended, but many do not even know what the Koran says.”
Radical Islam is not afraid to use nuclear weapons against America, explains Dr. Cort: “The top newspaper in Iran, Kayhan, that is supervised by Supreme Leader Khamenei, said ‘If Iran is attacked, there are elements in America who will detonate nuclear bombs in American cities.’” Cort adds, “This may seem suicidal, but the Supreme Leader, Khamenei, the Iranian Mullahs and President Ahmadinejad, are religious fanatics, and to them it is glorious to die as martyrs for radical Islam…. Also, their fanatical views must be understood in the context of their belief in the coming of the ‘Mahdi.’”
Cort says the Islamic Republic has created the “Jerusalem Force.” This is one of Iran’s most secret paramilitary organizations. It is tasked with intelligence operations related to targeting the United States with nuclear and biological weapons. Some of the Jerusalem Force agents have been working undercover in the United States for more than a decade. “There is a strong possibility,” says Dr. Cort, “that Iran’s American Hiroshima will not only be a nuclear attack, but a chemical, biological, and [involve] assault troops…. In addition, there may also be an EMP attack. Iran has chemical weapons, and there is evidence Iran [has] biological weapons as well, including anthrax.”
The smuggling of WMDs into the United States is not original to Iran. During the Cold War, the Soviet KGB and GRU invented the whole idea (just as they invented airline hijacking). During the 1970s and 80s the Soviets prepared ways of smuggling nuclear and biological weapons into the United States (see GRU Colonel Stanislav Lunev’s Through the Eyes of the Enemy). In 1998 Lunev explained that the chosen routes for smuggling WMDs into the U.S. would be those used by narcotics traffickers. According to Dr. Cort, Iranian agents are currently working with drug cartels in Mexico, digging tunnels under the border. Curiously, GRU defector Viktor Suvorov says (in his book Spetsnaz) that the Soviets conceived of organizing something called “Gray Terror,” in which the United States would be attacked by terrorists with no traceable connection to Moscow. These terrorists would be “mercenaries recruited by intermediaries,” wrote Suvorov, explaining that this terrorism would divert the intelligence and military resources of the West away from Russia, paving the way for successful Russian moves.
There is a great difference, however, between Iranian nuclear strategy and Russian nuclear strategy. Unlike the Iranians, the Russians thoroughly understand the principle of winning a nuclear war. Their idea is simple, and elegant. It is unwise to openly engage in a nuclear war with a nuclear power. Only a covert nuclear attack promises safety for the attacker. If nuclear bombs are detonated against American cities, it’s best if the Americans cannot identify the attacking country? Better yet, if the Americans misidentify the attacking country. In other words, imagine a group of radical Islamists who support international terrorism and are working to build a nuclear arsenal – raising fears, tensions, and oil prices. Wouldn’t these radical Islamists stand accused in the event of a nuclear detonation against an American city? In light of this analysis, one might even call the Iranian regime a “nuclear lightning rod.”
I asked Dr. Cort about the support Iran receives from Russia, China and North Korea. He affirmed that these countries have been supporting Iran. I asked how we would know if a nuclear weapon detonated in America had been planted by Iranians, Russians, Chinese or North Koreans. Of course, explained Dr. Cort, Iranian official sources have publicly implied that they have such a capability and are preparing such an attack.
Full article: Iran’s Nuclear Attack Plan (JR Nyquist)