Iran took possession of a 13-ton hoard of gold — worth nearly $500 million — held up by sanctions after working out a deal on the sidelines of nuclear talks in Vienna, the country’s central bank chief told Iranian media.
“A sum of 13 tons of gold that had been purchased before and was deposited in South Africa in the past two years and could not be transferred to Iran due to the sanctions … was delivered to the Central Bank of Iran’s treasury last night,” Valiollah Seif, who heads the Central Bank of Iran, said Wednesday, according to the Iranian state-owned Fars News. Continue reading
Tehran urges Beijing to play bigger role in Iran nuclear talks with other world powers
Iran is keen to build closer military ties with China, welcoming Beijing to expand its naval presence and urging it to play a bigger role in the Tehran nuclear talks.
The two states might conduct more port calls because of China’s growing commercial interests, Iranian foreign affairs adviser Ali Akbar Velayati told the South China Morning Post.
Repeated concessions by the Obama administration during ongoing nuclear talks with Iran have all but guaranteed that the Islamic Republic will emerge as a nuclear threshold state that could build a weapon with little effort, according to arms control experts who testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
Stephen Rademaker, national security adviser for the Bipartisan Policy Center and former assistant secretary of state for arms control, international security, and nonproliferation during the George W. Bush administration, said during the hearing that the recent preliminary deal “fundamentally signifies acceptance by the international community of Iran as a nuclear weapons threshold state.” Continue reading
Today there are no ‘mistakes’.
The Obama administration knows exactly what it’s doing and is far from ignorant. It’s clearly siding with Iran and putting Israel’s back against the wall. Israel will be forced to defend its existence — as it clearly demonstrated it’s capable of the other day. If and when Israel chooses to strike, the propaganda machines globally will be running full speed and claim Israel as the evil war mongering aggressor. It’s the perfect trap designed by the Obama administration in collusion with Iran and other hostile nations.
Democratic New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez made headlines during a hearing with Deputy Secretary of State Antony Blinken in January when he said, “I have to be honest with you, the more I hear from the administration and quotes, the more it sounds like talking points coming out of Tehran.”
Amir Hossein Motaghi, an Iranian reporter who defected to Switzerland last week, recently made a similar comment about the American approach to nuclear talks with Iran: “The U.S. negotiating team are mainly there to speak on Iran’s behalf with other members of the 5+1 countries and convince them of a deal.” Continue reading
WASHINGTON — As Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu flies to Washington – due to arrive on Sunday (March 2), to prepare for talks with President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday – it’s clear that there are several points of friction between Israel and the United States.
The two countries are allies, but their leaders often differ on the details of key issues: Israel’s peace talks with the Palestinians, America’s nuclear talks with Iran, how to approach political turmoil in Egypt, what might be done to limit Syria’s horrible civil war, and a broader issue of whether the Middle East sees President Obama as a powerful, influential leader. 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
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
As usual, DEBKAfile proves to be spot on and ahead of the curve. The deal was done months before it came to light. This is anything but a peaceful measure since the Iranians give nothing away in return for being let off the leash. As a result, war is imminent, as Israel is now backed into a corner and tasked with protecting its very own existence by means of preemptive strike, or option two, which is to get hit first. The former will likely be what happens. As also was mentioned beforehand, in order to somewhat gauge what direction things will turn, look no further than what leaves Israel with the proverbial short end of the stick. In the end, by design, its aim is to paint Israel as the neighborhood aggressor, enabling a “justified” reason to end the Jewish state’s existence.
Two previous articles highlight what has (already) transpired:
Long before a nuclear deal was in reach, the U.S. was quietly lifting some of the financial pressure on Iran, a Daily Beast investigation reveals. How the sanctions were softened.
The Obama administration began softening sanctions on Iran after the election of Iran’s new president in June, months before the current round of nuclear talks in Geneva or the historic phone call between the two leaders in September.While those negotiations now appear on the verge of a breakthrough the key condition for Iran—relief from crippling sanctions—began quietly and modestly five months ago. Continue reading
LONDON — The Iranian opposition said Teheran was moving a nuclear weapons research and development center to a Defense Ministry complex.
The National Council of Resistance of Iran, on the eve of nuclear talks in Geneva on Oct. 15, identified the facility as SPND and said it employs 100 researchers.
“There is a link between this transfer and the date of Geneva [talks] because the regime needed to avoid the risk of visits by inspectors,” Mehdi Abrichamtchi, who compiled the report for the opposition council, said. Continue reading
The names and addresses of 60 Iranian experts employed by 11 different Iranian agencies under the control of the Iranian Defense Ministry were revealed Saturday, May 12, by the main Iranian opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI). This is the first time an extensive, highly secret, central organizational structure dedicated to building a nuclear weapon has been revealed in detail – specifically the Ministry of Defense under the command of the Revolutionary Guard Corps, which also runs the Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plant.
The information updated to April 2012 was provided by “sources within the Iranian regime’s agencies, including military institutions.”
It contradicts the fundamental conclusion reached by the US and five world powers and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) – that Iran’s nuclear program is not run by a single organization – on the basis of which they entered into negotiation with Tehran. Most of all, it refutes another key argument heard in the West that Iran has not yet decided to actually build a weapon because Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei’s said it would be a “sin.”
The Mujahedin-e Khalq, which Tehran accuses of collaborating with US and Israeli intelligence to assassinate its nuclear scientists, clearly timed the publication of its findings for 11 days before the Six Powers were due to hold a second round of nuclear talks with Iran in Baghdad on May 23, DEBKAfile’s intelligence and Iranian sources report.
Full article: More than 60 nuclear experts at work building Iranian nuclear bomb (DEBKAfile)
Bashar Assad’s victory over the 12-month uprising to unseat him is unquestioned. With massive Iranian and Russian intelligence and military support, the Syrian army was able to push the rebels out of the cities – barring isolated pockets in Homs and Idlib – and drive them to the rural periphery, where they can’t hold up for long.
One observer, describing their situation as “undergunned and overwhelmed,” reported that Syria’s rebels have to negotiate for hours for every box of bullets they haul across the border for their war against Assad. “And their frustration is starting to show.”
Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are crowing over their success in derailing the Obama administration’s two-pronged policy for halting a nuclear Iran. It hinged on Tehran’s isolation by unraveling its alliance with Damascus and Hizballah and economic pressure through tough financial sanctions and an oil embargo.
Iran has come out of the woods firmly in position at the head of its bloc, now cemented by Assad’s defeat of his foes. Tehran’s hand is much strengthened for the coming nuclear talks between Iran and the Six Powers due to start in two weeks. Washington will have to pay for any Iranian concessions by starting the process of unwinding sanctions.
Full article: By securing Assad and its alliance, Iran gains upper hand for nuclear talks (DEBKAfile)