DEBKAfile’s military and Moscow sources now report exclusively: In early October 2010, Russian intelligence learned that Iran was about to begin test launches of missiles for carrying nuclear warheads. They reported this to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.
He then took three steps: He conveyed the information to US President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and bound them to secrecy. With their pledges in hand, he used backdoor intelligence channels to persuade Tehran to refrain from bragging about its dramatic progress and keep the tests of the nuclear-capable missiles quiet in order to avert a world outcry against the violation of all their international commitments. The Iranians bought the deal.
Conspiracy of silence over four Iranian nuclear-capable missile tests
“We cannot live in a situation where Iran has nuclear weapons and we don’t. It’s as simple as that,” the official said. “If Iran develops a nuclear weapon, that will be unacceptable to us and we will have to follow suit.”
Officials in Riyadh said that Saudi Arabia would reluctantly push ahead with its own civilian nuclear programme. Peaceful use of nuclear power, Turki said, was the right of all nations.
Riyadh will build nuclear weapons if Iran gets them, Saudi prince warns
Four arrest warrants have been issued by the UN-backed tribunal investigating the 2005 murder of Lebanon’s former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, Lebanon’s state prosecutor said.
Mr Hariri’s son, Saad, welcomed the indictments and described them as a “historic moment” for Lebanon.
Local reports say the warrants name senior members of the Shia militant and political group Hezbollah.
UN tribunal finally issues arrest warrant in Hariri murder
Hold your breath. Now we wait for Hezbollah’s reaction.
There are now three reasons to attack Israel:
1. Syria needs to deflect public anger from the current regime.
2. Palestinians need sympahy at the UN to drive home a new Palestinian state in September.
3. Hezbollah needs to deflect world attention from these indictments.
Will the summer of 2011 be the summer of war unlike any other? Stay tuned.
… Al-Jarida said Israel sent a message to Assad through Turkey following intelligence reports of unusual Syrian troop movements.
Those reports included information that long-range ballistic missiles had been moved into positions that could be used to target Israel.
Syria Moves Long-Range Ballastic Missiles into Postion to Target Israel
The economic crisis in Greece could reach the United States through money market funds, especially if the contagion spreads to European banks, officials from the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday.
Money markets, banks may spread Greek contagion-IMF
Meanwhile, the protest movement continues to gain momentum inside Syria, with nothing but the president’s departure now likely to satisfy the opposition. With dissent within his country now too widespread for Assad to ignore, some analysts are hoping Syria’s fast-degenerating economy will also prove a fatal weakness. In this context, the fact that protests have finally reached the country’s second city and commercial hub, Aleppo, may be particularly significant. And how things now play out in Syria depends on whether Assad and his officials meeting growing dissent with ever-repressive force – or blink.
Making Sense of Syria
Yet, if China has extensive European exposure, a Greek default could make the entire global economy reel.
Many other economies within China’s region are dependent upon the rising power. Notably, a significant percentage of Australia and South Korea’s manufacturing output goes to China.
Obviously, China has an enormous economic relationship with the United States, infamously dubbed “Chimerica.”
While China’s willingness to finance Europe may decrease the probability of a euro crisis, should one happen, China’s holdings could spread it across the globe.
Will China Help Transmit Contagion Across the Globe Due to the Greece Crisis?
In a reprise of the 2008 crisis, Greece’s toxic bonds are tangled in a web of debt and complex derivates such as credit default swaps (essentially, insurance on debt) that could ensnare banks and financial institutions far and wide. The difference this time around, however, is that Europe — which lacks strong central institutions like the US Federal Reserve — is less well-equipped to untangle the mess quickly, explains Connelly.
So while Greece’s bonds will be paid this summer, there are many billions of dollars worth of debt that remain outstanding over the next several years. Greece stands almost no chance of being able to pay these in full, and if economists are right, austerity will only worsen matters by crippling the country’s economy. So if Europe balks at rescuing its errant Mediterranean partner, or if it fails to come up with an orderly plan enabling Greece to default, everyone stands to lose. And because American financial institutions are intricately tied in with Europe, the pain would be felt on this side of the ocean as well.
Stay tuned, this Greek drama is not over yet.
Greece’s debt crisis: not over yet
Iran has been carrying out covert tests of missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload, UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said Wednesday, in contravention of a U.N. resolution.
It has also said it wants to enrich uranium to “levels far greater than is needed for peaceful nuclear energy,” Hague said.
Iran testing missiles that could carry nuclear weapon, UK’s Hague says
The Ukrainians provided the design for the warheads, while the Chinese and Pakistanis delivered the technology, machining and tooling. The Iranian Ministry of Defense coordinated the interface with all three.
In the past, the Guards encountered problems with the design of a warhead with a reentry vehicle that could successfully carry a nuclear payload. They tried for years using the North Korean No Dong warhead design, with little success. But it now appears that with the collaboration with China, Pakistan and the Ukraine, they have overcome those difficulties and are now in possession of the warheads. They are now ready to arm them with nuclear payloads.
Does Iran Now Have Nuclear Capable Warheads?