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)

Obama Has Three More Months to Stop Iran’s Nuclear Progress before Israel Strikes

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)

Report: Obama focused on Iran diplomacy in tense meeting with Netanyahu

WASHINGTON — Little love was lost in the March 5 meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Western diplomatic sources.

The sources said Obama may travel to Iran in a bid for reconciliation and that his meeting with Netanyahu pointed to what many are describing as a poisoned atmosphere between the leaders.

“There’s a lot of hate in this relationship, and this is no exaggeration,” the diplomat said.

The sources said Obama, who quietly remains in contact with Teheran’s leadership, warned Netanyahu not to “do anything reckless” regarding military operations in the Middle East.

The sources said Obama sees Netanyahu as an ally of the opposition Republican Party while the prime minister sees the president as ready to abandon Israel, Middle East Newsline reported.

Full article: Report: Obama focused on Iran diplomacy in tense meeting with Netanyahu (World Tribune)

Israel’s Channel 2: U.S. Officials Believe Netanyahu Has Already Decided to Strike Iran

Channel 2 in Israel, sourcing a “senior American official”, says that the decision has already been made by the Israeli government to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities.

“All U.S. intelligence officials are confident the Israeli leadership has already decided to attack Iran, unless a significant change happens in the coming weeks or months with  the Iranian nuclear program,” Channel 2 reports.

The report comes just hours ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC in Washington.

Full article: Israel’s Channel 2: U.S. Officials Believe Netanyahu Has Already Decided to Strike Iran (The Algemeiner)

Commentary: Geopolitical maelstrom

Iran can close the Strait of Hormuz, not just for a few hours, as the Israelis say, but long enough to drive oil prices into the stratosphere. An admiral with years of experience in the region at different times of his career said privately Iran can sow thousands of mines in an area that handles one-fifth of the world’s daily oil requirements. They are below the surface and can be detonated by remote control as a warship sails over them. Iran’s shore line, which covers the entire eastern side of the Persian Gulf, is pock-marked with concealed missile sites.

The Iranians would also use hundreds of small boats in a swarming configuration that U.S. warships are prepared to cope with — but one or two are bound to get through a curtain of fire and punch a hole in the hull of a U.S. or NATO minesweeper.

Such a small boat in Aden harbor in October 2000 punctured the hull of the USS Cole, a $1 billion Arleigh Burke class destroyer, killing 17 sailors, and putting the warship out of service for 18 months with a $220 million repair bill. Cost of the operation to al-Qaida: $10,000 plus three volunteer suicide bombers.

The response of Israeli naysayers is that such tactics would hurt Iran far more than any of its intended targets. U.S. generals and admirals respond that the Iranian leadership wouldn’t be averse to cutting off its nose to spite its face.

The Iranians can also absorb temporary belt-tightening far more readily than Western Europeans. And with gas at the pump suddenly selling at $10 to $15 a gallon, U.S. President Barack Obama’s updated resume wouldn’t look too appealing at the ballot box in November.

The arguments about whether Iran really wants a nuclear capability seem disconnected from reality. Pakistan’s nuclear black marketer A.Q. Khan sold the ayatollahs nuclear secrets two decades ago. By all accounts, Tehran is very close to achieving deliverable nuclear payloads.

U.S. Navy 5th Fleet headquarters in Bahrain is vulnerable; two-thirds of its population is Shiite Muslim and rooting for Tehran in the current conflict.

Full article: Commentary: Geopolitical maelstrom (Space War)

Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs

The State Department has begun coordinating with Syria’s neighbors to prepare for the handling of President Bashar al-Assad’s extensive weapons of mass destruction if and when his regime collapses, The Cable has learned.

This week, the State Department sent a diplomatic demarche to Syria’s neighbors Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Saudi Arabia, warning them about the possibility of Syria’s WMDs crossing their borders and offering U.S. government help in dealing with the problem, three Obama administration officials confirmed to The Cable. For concerned parties both inside and outside the U.S. government, the demarche signifies that the United States is increasingly developing plans to deal with the dangers of a post-Assad Syria — while simultaneously highlighting the lack of planning for how to directly bring about Assad’s downfall.

Syria is believed to have a substantial chemical weapons program, which includes mustard gas and sophisticated nerve agents, such as sarin gas, as well as biological weapons. Syria has also refused IAEA requests to make available facilities that were part of its nuclear weapons program and may still be in operation.

Full article: Exclusive: State Department quietly warning region on Syrian WMDs (Foreign Policy)

Iran has material for 4 nuclear bombs: Israeli general

JERUSALEM — Iran has enough radioactive material to produce four nuclear bombs, Israel’s chief of military intelligence, General Aviv Kochavi, asserted at a security conference on Thursday.

“Today international intelligence agencies are in agreement with Israel that Iran has close to 100 kilograms (220 pounds) of uranium enriched to 20 percent, which is enough to produce four bombs,” he told the annual Herzliya conference.

“Iran is very actively pursuing its efforts to develop its nuclear capacities, and we have evidence that they are seeking nuclear weapons,” he said.

“We estimate they would need a year from when the order is given to produce a weapon.”

Full article: Iran has material for 4 nuclear bombs: Israeli general (AFP)

Europe, Iran and Bible Prophecy Come Alive in the Strait of Hormuz!

In addition to history and human nature, another vital asset provides insight into the tension escalating in the Strait of Hormuz. Here at the Trumpet we find it impossible to watch events in the Persian Gulf and not see the prophecy in Daniel 11. In verse 40, God says via His prophet that “at the time of the end shall the king of the south push at him: and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships ….” Notice first, this event is occurring at the “time of the end,” in the days right before Christ’s Second Coming.

Next, consider the participants in this clash. They are the “king of the south”—the armies of radical Islam led by Iran—and the “king of the north”—the armies of a united Europe led by Germany and the Vatican. You can prove this by reading our booklet The King of the South.

Notice the word “push” in Daniel 11:40. In Hebrew, it means to push at, or to wage war. Think about Iran’s nuclear weapons program, its threat to close down Hormuz, its support of terrorism in Israel and around the world. Theprimary goal of Iranian foreign policy is to “push” and provoke, to aggravate and infuriate.

This prophecy was written 2,500 years ago—and it describes the present situation in the Persian Gulf perfectly!

Daniel 11:40 says that the “king of the north” will react, and eventually with overpowering force! We are beginning to get a glimpse of how this will happen. On Monday, Europe got tougher with Iran than it ever has. Based on Daniel’s prophecy, expect Europe to get even tougher and more confrontational toward Iran!

Keep watching the Strait of Hormuz. And remember, the tension between Iran and Europe is more than geopolitics—it’s an insight into Daniel 11:40!

Continue reading article: Europe, Iran and Bible Prophecy Come Alive in the Strait of Hormuz! (The Trumpet)

Iran ‘definitely’ closing Strait of Hormuz over EU oil embargo

With the looming EU embargo against Iranian oil, the Islamic Republic has responded. Turn up the middle eastern threats escalations another notch.

Tensions in the Gulf could reach a breaking point as a senior Iranian official said Iran would “definitely” close the Strait of Hormuz if an EU oil embargo disrupted the export of crude oil.

Mohammad Kossari, deputy head of parliament’s foreign affairs and national security committee, issued the warning in respone to a decision by the European Union on Monday  to impose an oil embargo on Iran over the country’s alleged nuclear weapons program.

“The pressure of sanctions is designed to try and make sure that Iran takes seriously our request to come to the table,” EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.

However, with Washington’s decision to deploy a second carrier strike group in the Gulf, the EU’s attempt to pressure Iran economically could greatly increase the likelihood of all-out war in the region.

The Strait of Hormuz is the vital link between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman.

It is also one of the most strategic chokepoints in the world when it comes to oil transit.

Continue reading article: Iran ‘definitely’ closing Strait of Hormuz over EU oil embargo (Russia Today)