10 January 2012

ALL EYES ON STRAIT OF HORMUZ

DEBKAfile's military sources report a buildup in the last 48 hours of western naval forces opposite Iran in the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea in readiness for Tehran to carry out its threat to close the Strait of Hormuz.


Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kutznetsov in Syrian port

US, Russian French and British air and naval forces streamed to the Syrian and Iranian coasts over the weekend on guard for fresh developments at the two Middle East flashpoints.

The Russian carrier Admiral Kuznetsov anchored earlier than planned at Syria's Tartus port on the Mediterranean Sunday, Jan. 8, arriving together with the destroyer Admiral Chabanenko and frigate Yaroslav Mudry.

To counter this movement, France consigned an air defense destroyer Forbin to the waters off Tartus.

Shirat Devorah informs us that The Australian reports that Israel ... In preparation: "is preparing to shut its nuclear reactor at Dimona, where it makes nuclear weapons, because of the site's vulnerability in a war with Iran."

BAHRAIN Manama - Iran is a common threat to Bahrain, Israel and the US, the King of Bahrain Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa was quoted as saying by a Jewish official on Sunday. "Rabbi Marc Schneier, vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said the king told him he was alarmed by the Islamic Republic during a 45-minute meeting held in the capital city of Manama late last month."

"He said it was imperative to hold talks between Jews and Muslims now because the perfect conditions to conduct such a conversation would never arise. “Whether we chose to have it [in Bahrain] or not you can’t wait,” he said. “It’s a genuine sincere effort to expand Muslim-Jewish dialogue.”

HAARETZ: Israel is preparing for an Iran with nuclear capabilities within the next 12 months, according to a report by the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), an Israeli think tank. The U.K. daily Times newspaper published extracts of the report by the Tel Aviv University institute on Monday, according to an AFP report.



DEBKA "As quoted by the London Times Monday, Jan. 1, INSS experts, headed by Gen. (ret.) Giora Eiland, a former head of Israel's National Security Council, deduced from a simulation study they staged last week that. Their conclusion is that neither the US nor Israel will use force to stop Iran's first nuclear test which they predicted would take place in January 2013. Our Iranian sources stress, however, that Tehran does not intend to wait for the next swearing-in of a US president in January 2013, whether Barack Obama is returned for a second term or replaced by a Republican figure, before moving on to a nuclear test. Iran's Islamist rulers have come to the conclusion from the Bush and Obama presidencies that America is a paper tiger and sure to shrink from attacking their nuclear program – especially while the West is sunk in profound economic distress."


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