Points to ponder: update 1

Developments are daily since last Thursday’s posting on Eric Hadik’s predictions regarding the Middle East and Iran.

Friday 6th Jan

The outcome of Thursday’s meeting in Washington between Philip Hammond, British Defence Secretary, Defence Minister Ehud Barak of Israel and US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta revealed that Hammond affirmed the UK’s readiness for action in the event of closure of sea lanes. Thus, the Royal Navy will despatch its ‘state-of-the-art’ warship HMS Daring, a type 45 destroyer, to the Gulf.

DebkaFile exclusively reported upon the arrival this week of thousands of American troops in Israel as part of the US-IDF deployment in readiness for military engagement with Iran and its possible escalation into a regional conflict.

This online news service continued to bring more breaking news, as follows:

Sun 8th Jan

Their ‘exclusive’ was updated to include Tehran’s announcement that Iran’s deep underground uranium enrichment facility will go on-stream soon, thereby crossing another ‘red-line’ in its nuclear weapons programme.

Mon 9th Jan

Special report upon Eastern Mediterranean activities of arrival a Russian aircraft carrier, frigate and destroyer in Syria’s Tartus port. Also, France has sent air-defence destroyer to watch off Tartus, as well as an aircraft carrier to the Sea of Oman to arrive about the same time as HMS Daring. There, the US strike group have deployed a surveillance drone from their carrier to monitor Iranian activities.

Tues 10th Jan

Another special from ‘Iranian sources’ reports Tehran as preparing to test a 1-kiloton nuclear device this year.

Wed 11th Jan

Yesterday, “President Barack Obama received the Saudi foreign minister Saud al-Faisal. Their conversation was shrouded in secrecy, although no one doubts it focused on the conflict with Iran and the urgency of keeping open the main export outlet for the world’s biggest oil suppliers, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, through the Strait of Hormuz. The crisis in Syria must also have featured in their talks….

“Debkafile’s Washington sources report that the White House is bending over backwards to convince the skeptical Saudis that the president is wiling to use military force to keep the vital waterway open, safeguard Gulf oil installations and exports and also prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon…” (for more see Special Report).

FOOTNOTE – for an informative historical analysis, read Con Coughlin’s Can Iran Close Down the Strait of Hormuz?

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