Exclusive: Saudi Arabia building up military near Yemen border – U.S. officials

(Reuters) – Saudi Arabia is moving heavy military equipment including artillery to areas near its border with Yemen, U.S. officials said on Tuesday, raising the risk that the Middle East’s top oil power will be drawn into the worsening Yemeni conflict.

The buildup follows a southward advance by Iranian-backed Houthi Shi’ite militants who took control of the capital Sanaa in September and seized the central city of Taiz at the weekend as they move closer to the new southern base of U.S.-supported President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Continue reading

Iran’s supreme leader embraced concept of nuclear arms, archival document suggests

According to an internal U.N. document, Khamenei embraced the concept of an Iranian nuclear bomb during a meeting of the country’s top leadership more than two decades ago, saying nuclear weapons were essential for preserving Iran’s Islamic Revolution.

The 2009 document, prepared for the International Atomic Energy Agency, is a collection of statements made by Iranian leaders about nuclear weapons, as gleaned from the nuclear watchdog’s intelligence sources. It cites an April 1984 meeting in which Khamenei allegedly endorsed a decision by then-leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini to launch a secret nuclear weapons program.

“According to Ayatollah Khamenei, this was the only way to secure the very essence of the Islamic Revolution from the schemes of its enemies … and to prepare it for the emergence of Imam Mahdi,” states the IAEA document, which was obtained by the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington-based nonprofit group that analyzes nuclear weapons programs. In Shiite Islam, “Imam Mahdi” is the prophesied 12th Imam who will purge the world of evil in humanity’s last days.

Khamenei allegedly embraced the idea of an Iranian nuclear arsenal that would “serve Iran as a deterrent in the hands of God’s soldiers,” the IAEA memo states.

Full article: Iran’s supreme leader embraced concept of nuclear arms, archival document suggests (Iran Focus)