(Haaretz) – Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the release of Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard, who was hospitalized over the weekend following deterioration in his medical condition.
“The Jewish holiday of freedom should become Pollard’s private holiday of freedom, Netanyahu said.”I will continue working toward his release.”
President Shimon Peres met with Pollard’s wife, Esther, in Jerusalem and promised her that he will urge President Obama to release him due to his medical condition.
WASHINGTON (PRNewswire) Mar. 22, 2012 – An espionage ring smuggled 800 krytons to the Israeli Ministry of Defense for use in the clandestine Israeli nuclear weapons program according to newly declassified FBI files. The secret documents were originally scheduled for public release in the year 2036, but were obtained under appeal to the Justice Department by the Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy (IRmep). The documents available online at here reveal new details about the failed effort to indict the nuclear smuggling ring’s masterminds.
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A kryton is a gas-filled tube used as a high-speed switch. Their export requires a U.S. State Department munitions license because they can be used as triggers for nuclear weapons. The U.S. government rejected several requests for kryton export licenses to Israel. California-based MILCO International Inc. shipped 15 orders totaling 800 krytons through an intermediary to the Israeli Ministry of Defense between 1979 and 1983. Heli Trading Company, owned by Israeli movie producer Arnon Milchan, brokered the transactions with MILCO.
“For the first time, the writers expose how in the mid-1960s, while still in his early 20s, Milchan was recruited by Israel’s secretive spy agency, LAKAM; how he became a key operative for Israel’s top master spies, Benjamin Blumberg and Rafi Eitan, and a confidant of such powerful Israeli politicians as President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and how he participated in a web of complex undercover schemes to procure armaments for his country.”
(Ynet News) – in recent weeks the Administration shifted from persuasion efforts vis-à-vis decision-makers and Israel’s public opinion to a practical, targeted assassination of potential Israeli operations in Iran. This “surgical strike” is undertaken via reports in the American and British media, but the campaign’s aims are fully operational: To make it more difficult for Israeli decision-makers to order the IDF to carry out a strike, and what’s even graver, to erode the IDF’s capacity to launch such strike with minimal casualties.
The first and most important American objective is to eliminate potential operational options available to the IDF and the State of Israel.
To sum up, the American publications caused the following damage:
- Iran now has a decent picture of what Israel’s and America’s intelligence communities know about Tehran’s nuclear program and defense establishment, including its aerial defenses.
- The Iranians now know about the indications that would be perceived by Washington and Jerusalem as a “nuclear breakthrough”. Hence, Iran can do a better job of concealment.
- The reports make it more difficult to utilize certain operational options. These options, even if not considered thus far, could have been used by the US in the future, should Iran not thwart them via diplomatic and military means.
Needless to say, this is not how one should be treating an ally, even if this is a relationship between a superpower and a satellite state. The targeted assassination campaign currently undertaken by the US government also sharply contradicts President Obama’s declaration at the AIPAC Conference, whereby he and the US recognize Israel’s sovereign right to defend itself by itself. One cannot utter these words and a moment later exposes Israel’s vulnerabilities and possible strike routes to its enemies.
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