Saudis are buying nuclear-capable missiles from China

The motive for this is three-fold:

  • Frustration with the unwillingness of the Obama administration.
  • A regional threat that continues to grow out of Iran and past remarks of wanting to go nuclear should Ahmadinejad’s regime continue along the nuclear proliferation path.
  • Although there’s peace/stability between the two, they’re still not truly allies of Israel.

debkafile’s military sources report that Saudi Arabia has set its feet on the path to a nuclear weapon capability and is negotiating in Beijng the purchase of Chinese nuclear-capable Dong-Fen 21 ((NATO-codenamed CSS-5) ballistic missile.

China, which has agreed to the transaction in principle, would also build a base of operations near Riyadh for the new Saudi purchases.

As we reported last year, Saudi Arabia has struck a deal with Pakistan for the availability on demand of a nuclear warhead from Islamabad’s arsenal for fitting onto a ballistic missile.

Riyadh owns a direct interest in the two most active Middle East issues: Iran and Syria.

Iran’s nuclear weapons program has been advancing for two decades regardless of countless attempts at restraint by every diplomatic tool under the sun and a rising scale of sanctions – to no avail.

Tehran marches on regardless of impediments. In Istanbul, Tuesday, July 3, the six powers and Iran failed the fourth attempt to reach an accommodation on Iran’s nuclear program.

On July 1, they redoubled their military preparedness when the European Union clamped down an oil embargo on Iran. The Saudis, the US Fifth Fleet and the entire Gulf region are since braced for Iranian reprisals which could come in the form of closure by Tehran of the vital Straits of Hormuz to shipping or strikes against the Gulf emirates’ oil exporting facilities.

Tension shot up again when Iran’s Revolutionary Guards launched a three-day missile drill against simulated enemy bases in the region – expanding its threats to include US forces and bases in the region, Israel and Turkey.

Full article: Saudis are buying nuclear-capable missiles from China (DEBKAfile)

Nuclear Iran is past its point-of-no-return, yet oil sanctions remain on paper

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)