<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Iran cheers US intelligence reassessment of nuclear arms threat
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 8, 2007
Iran's nuclear negotiator, Dep. FM Saeed Jalili's trip to Moscow Tuesday, Dec. 4. for talks with Russian president Vladimir Putin, capitalizes on the breakthrough the US has offered Tehran. The shock waves from the US intelligence report that Iran had put its bid for a nuclear bomb on hold in 2003, in contradiction of its 2005 assessment, are already touching other countries as well.
Our sources add that, contrary to the assurances emanating from Jerusalem, the entire sanctions edifice is in danger of toppling, including Washington's push for a third round of penalties for Iran at the UN Security Council.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Reports: Two surfaced Iranian Kilo-class submarines spotted in Persian Gulf by US warship<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 5, 2007
The USS Vicksburg cruiser tracked and photographed the Iranian Russian-designed diesel-electric attack subs some weeks ago. There was no communication between them. debkafile's military sources report that this was the first time US warships have run into a par of surfaced Iranian subs.
Wednesday, Nov. 28, Iranian Navy commander Adm. Habibollah Sayyari claimed it was expanding its sub fleet, including a new home-built small submarine called Ghadir, equipped with sonar-evading technology.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 4, 2007
The US National Intelligence Estimate released Monday said Iran had put its bid for a nuclear bomb on hold in 2003. Reiterating that Tehran never had plans to build atomic weapons, FM Manouchehr Mottaki welcomed the reassessment by the countries with questions in the past, who "have now amended their views realistically."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 3, 2007
In a radical about-face, White House officials suddenly "discovered" Monday, Dec. 3, that Iran had halted it nuclear weapons program four years ago, but has continued to enrich uranium and could have enough material to build a bomb between 2010 and 2015. This "discovery" appeared in the latest National Intelligence Estimate, together with the comment that Iran seems less determined to develop nuclear arms than previously believed and is more vulnerable to international pressure.
This finding caused astonishment and dismay in Israeli political and military circles, particularly in the light of the close Israel-US rapport over last week's Annapolis conference on the Middle East and the close Olmert-Livni-Barak lineup behind the Bush vision of Palestinian statehood.
debkafile's sources in Israel: In effect, Washington has taken the military option off the table at the very moment that Tehran's Said Jalili slammed the door on diplomacy in the "disastrous" conversation he held with the European Union's Javier Solana in London, Saturday, Dec. 1.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Iran is developing two submarine fleets - one with a 12,000 km-range for Tel Aviv and US Mediterranean targets<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report December 2, 2007
Our military sources report the Iranian Navy plans to deploy two submarine fleets - mini-subs in Persian Gulf waters for attacks on US shipping and Gulf oil facilities, and the Kilo class sub of Russian, Chinese and Iranian manufacture, for long-range targets in the Mediterranean, such as the US Sixth Fleet and Israel coastal towns, primarily Tel Aviv.
This was first revealed by DEBKA-Net-Weekly 326 on Nov.16.
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DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 30, 2007
Army naval commander Adm. Habib Sayyari announced: "A home-made destroyer called Jamaran and a home-made submarine of the Ghadir class will launch operations Nov. 28." He also claimed the production of missile-launching PT boats. Sayyari stressed Iran's navy is "in full control over the Sea of Oman, the Persian Gulf and Strait of Hormuz and monitors all the military moves of Iran's enemies."
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 27, 2007
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debkafile's military sources report the Iranian Navy is in the process of deploying two submarine fleets - mini-subs in Persian Gulf waters for attacks on US shipping and Gulf oil facilities, and the long-range Kilo class sub of Russian, Chinese and home manufacture, for long-range targets in the Mediterranean, such as the US Sixth Fleet and Israel coastal towns, primarily Tel Aviv.
Iran's defense minister Mostafa Najiar announced Tuesday, Nov. 27, that a new Iranian-built submarine would be delivered to the navy Wednesday. He offered no details of the new item.
debkafile's military sources note that Iran's strategic thinking has undergone a change. Hitherto, the rulers of Tehran viewed the blockage of the narrow waterway to shipping that carries one-third of the world's oil needs, as its most effective reprisal for a military attack. They have revised their thinking for two reasons: First, Iran has made great strides in expanding its influence in Gulf oil states and an assault on their sole source of revenue would win more enemies than friends.
Second, as DEBKA-Net-Weekly 326 revealed Nov. 16, Tehran has developed a new capability to deploy in the Mediterranean Kilo class submarines armed with the Russian-made "Sizzler" Klub-S (3M54) missile.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Some independent experts believe Iran may already be producing enough fissile material for a nuclear bomb
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 24, 2007
Data reaching the US and Israel indicate that the boast made by Iranian president Ahmadinejad - and confirmed by the IAEA - that Tehran has 3,000 working centrifuges for uranium enrichment masks the real figure, which most likely tops 5,000 or is even close to 7,000 working machines.
Therefore, even if the Iranian nuclear industry is preyed by technical setbacks, it will be left with enough functioning machines to produce enough fissile material for at least two bombs a year.
Read more about this in debkafile Exclusive Report below
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 19, 2007
Independent intelligence, military and scientific circles strongly suspect that Iran is a lot closer to a nuclear bomb than officials in the US, West Europe and Israel are ready to surmise in public. debkafile's sources report that this suspicion was strengthened by the discoveries made in Syria as a result of the Israeli attack of Sept. 6.
The knowledgeable Israeli Air Force Colonel (Res.) Shmuel Gordon informed recipients of a private publication issued last week that, according to his information, Iran may have accumulated enough fissile material for two to four nuclear bombs.
Tehran admitted that it aspires to have the round number of 50,000 centrifuges spinning the uranium gas into nuclear fuel, thereby producing a quantity for making a bomb every 20 days.
Whereas in Western terms, these figures may not be too scary, for Israel, the prospect of Iran's Mahmud Ahmadinejad having two to four nuclear bombs to play with by spring 2008 is ominous enough to blow over all its security calculations.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Tehran rejects IAEA director ElBaradei's visit until agreement
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 16, 2007
Iran's foreign ministry announced that the director of the international nuclear watchdog Dr. Mohamed ElBaradei wished to schedule a visit to Iran to see Iranian officials before releasing his report Wednesday or Thursday. His request was rejected. Iran said the date for his visit would be announced only after an agreement is reached between the Tehran government and the atomic agency.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 12, 2007
President George W. Bush is developing a new strategy for tackling Iran's determined pursuit of a nuclear weapons program. He sounded out French president Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on his new ideas when they came over separately for talks in the last few days.
He is also in rapport with Russian president Vladimir Putin through confidential channels.
debkafile's Washington sources report that the US president's plan is to put before the public new findings on Iran's nuclear secrets, drawn from data gathered by the United States, Russia, France, Germany and Israel, and use the publicity as a fulcrum to push hard for tough international sanctions.
The US president and his spokesmen have reiterated their commitment to pursuing diplomacy. On the other hand, declaring Iran's Revolutionary Guards Corps al Qods Brigade a global terrorist group has placed the US military option squarely on the table, which all the European are anxious to avert.
Tehran threatens to unleash "wave upon wave" of suicide fighters against "aggressors."
Ahmadinejad at new air base near Afghanistan: Iran has reached goal of 3,000 centrifuges for uranium enrichment<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 11, 2007
This announcement Wednesday Nov. 7 by the Iranian president at a rally in the northeastern city of Birjand means, according to scientists, that Iran can in ideal conditions produce an atom bomb in one year's time.
debkafile's Iranian sources reveal that that a new Iranian air base was inaugurated at Birjand close to the Afghan border a few weeks ago. Ahmadinejad's disclosure bore a double menace.
Interpol's Assembly Wednesday approves "red" tags for five Iranians and a Hizballah operative for 1994 bombing of Argentine Jewish center<br/><br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 11, 2007
The Interpol general assembly meeting in Marrakech, Morocco tagged all six as wanted for extradition in connection with the attack which leveled the seven-story Jewish center in Buenos Aires, killing 85 people and shocking the 200,000 strong Argentine Jewish community. Thirteen years later, there has not been a single conviction.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span>: Large-scale US Persian Gulf exercise in progress tests preventive tactics against possible Iranian blockade of key Hormuz Straits<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 8, 2007
The exercise starting on Nov. 2, followed a statement by Iranian Gen. Al;I Fahdavi on Oct. 29, that the Revolutionary Guards Naval forces under his command are ready and able to strike at oil export traffic heading out of the Gulf region. On Nov 2, Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa said: "While they (Iranians) don't have the bomb yet, they are developing it - or the capability for it." He was the first Arab ruler to spell this threat out publicly.
Read debkafile's Special Report below on the inefficacy of international action against Iran's nuclear plans.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report November 5, 2007
Taking part in the American Persian Gulf exercise in progress since Nov. 2 are the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Enterprise, its strike force and two smaller helicopter carriers, the USS Wasp and USS Kearsage, which are marine amphibian assault craft. Commander Jay Chambers, who also heads the combined 59th Task Force, described the exercise as tough and demanding but good preparation for realistic scenarios.
The maneuver began shortly after Iranian Gen. Ali Fahdavi stated that the Revolutionary Guards Naval forces under his command are ready and able to strike at oil export traffic heading out of the Gulf region. The statement on Oct. 29 was taken as an implicit Iranian threat to block oil tanker traffic through the Straits of Hormuz chokepoint. Fahdavi added that Iranian suicide teams were also braced to attack any Gulf target.
<span class="debka">debka</span><span class="file">file</span> Exclusive: Warning letters delivered to thousands of Jewish families in Iran advise them to leave the country without delay<br/>
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 25, 2007
The letters, according to debkafile's Iranian sources, have been posted to Jewish families in Tehran (where the community numbers some 13,000), Isfahan (under 2,000) and Shiraz (some 4,000). They are captioned: Danger! Danger! Danger! and tell recipients to try and reach the West with all possible speed. Iranian Jews like the rest of the population face grave danger from impending events, the anonymous writers warn.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 24, 2007
debkafile's Iran sources report that Monday, Oct. 22, saw riotous student demonstrations lambasting president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in person at several universities across Iran including Amir Kabir in Tehran and Shahroud university. They are expected to continue.
He flew out early Tuesday, canceling a visit to the Armenian monument in Yerevan to the victims of the 1915 Armenian massacre in Ottoman Turkey, an address to the Armenian house of deputies and a meeting with students at Yerevan University.
Iran's new nuclear negotiator Said Jalili left for Rome Tuesday for his first meeting with EU's Javier Solana. He was accompanied by Ali Larijani whom Ahmadinejad replaced Saturday.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 21, 2007
Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky said Wednesday "without equivocation and it is our deep conviction founded on real knowledge" that Iran will not have the capacity to create intercontinental missiles in the near or medium future. He admitted that the US has the opposite opinion. debkafile adds: Israel shares the American belief and notes: Just as the Russian president is playing down the threat of an Iranian nuclear weapon, his chief of staff is dismissing Tehran's ability to create vehicles of delivery.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 20, 2007
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has laid down the gauntlet.
Having prevailed over the more pragmatic elements of the Islamic Republican regime headed by supreme ruler Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he and his Revolutionary Guards are challenging the United States to do its worst.
Saturday, Oct. 20, the fire-eating president succeeded in removing the formidable Iranian nuclear negotiator, head of the National Security Council, Ali Larijani, from his path. He then sent the Revolutionary Guards missile and artillery commander, Gen. Mahmoud Chaharbaghshe, to warn that, in the first minute of an attack on Iran, the Islamic Republic would fire 11,000 missiles and mortars against enemy (US and Israeli) bases.
The Russian president Vladimir Putin's visit last week to Tehran was a disappointment to the clerical rulers. Contracts for the Russians to complete the Bushehr atomic reactor and supply the fuel for its activation were not signed during that visit, although they had been drawn up previously between Larijani and the head of the Russian Nuclear Energy Commission Sergei Kiriyenko in Moscow.
At the last minute, Ahmadinejad, backed up by the IRGC chiefs, put his foot down against Putin's pre-condition which was incorporated in the contract for a joint Russian-Iranian mechanism to oversee the reactor and guarantee its non-use for weapons production.
The Iranian president had manipulated the episode in such a way as to leave the nuclear negotiator no option but to quit.
DEBKAfile Exclusive Report October 15, 2007
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in a sermon marking Eid al Fitr in Tehran Saturday, ignored Mahmoud Abbas, when he said the Palestinians themselves are not participating. Instead, as the crowd chanted "Death to American!" and "Death to Israel," he praised Hamas for making resistance its slogan.
Lead Palestinian negotiator former PM Ahmed Qurei has warned that if the conference fails to produce a detailed agreement and timeframe for solving the core issues of borders, Jerusalem and refugees, the consequences for Israel will be grimmer than the last round of violence.