Iran’s Nuclear Shopping Spree

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Today’s Top Stories

1. More details about Prisoner X continue to emerge. See below.

2. What to make of Iran’s nuclear shopping spree, described by the Washington Post?

Purchase orders obtained by nuclear researchers show an attempt by Iranian agents to buy 100,000 of the ring-shaped magnets — which are banned from export to Iran under U.N. resolutions — from China about a year ago, those familiar with the effort said. It is unclear whether the attempt succeeded.

Although Iran has frequently sought to buy banned items from foreign vendors, this case is considered unusual because of the order’s specificity and sheer size — enough magnets in theory to outfit 50,000 new centrifuges, or nearly five times the number that Iran currently operates . . .

They are positioning themselves to make a lot of nuclear progress quickly,” said a European diplomat with access to sensitive intelligence on Iran’s nuclear facilities . . .

3. Two thoughts on the Palestinian hissy fit over the Israel Museum’s new Herod exhibit (as described by the Washington Post, NY Times, The Media Line, — see also Raja Shehadeh‘s outrage).

  1. Herod and his related archeological finds aren’t “part of the Palestinian heritage” because there were no Palestinians.
  2. Palestinians politicize archeology and erase history every time they destroy Jewish antiquities from sites like the Temple Mount.

Prisoner X: The Facts, The Fallout

Israel acknowledged existence, suicide of Prisoner X without mentioning his name or reason for incarceration.

YNet elaborates on what’s known about the legal file. The paper also quotes human rights lawyer Avigdor Feldman saying he was the last person to see Prisoner X alive.

Fairfax Media journalist Jason Koutsoukis talked to The Guardian about his 2010 investigation of Zygier. Koutsoukis claims Zygier was working for a Mossad front company selling electronics to Iran. Kuwaiti media reports claim Zygier gave info to Dubai about the assassination of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh. The Sydney Morning Herald believes Zygier was going to blow the whistle on Israel covertly using Australian passports.

Israeli media on why the affair’s repercussions on the Mossad:

Assuming the information is accurate, the impact of the exposure of the alleged agent and his movements on behalf of Israeli intelligence in Iran, Syria and Lebanon, will have “very significant” consequences for ongoing work, Channel 10 news said.

In countries such as Iran and Syria, the authorities would now be checking through their records, working out when Zygier entered, who accompanied him, and who he met with, the TV report said.

The Washington Post has a nice piece I’m calling An Idiots Guide to Prisoner X.

For commentary/analysis, see Ron Ben-Yishai and AP (gag orders ineffective in digital age), and Phil Sheridan (Mossad mystique).

On the next page

  • Hamas to demolish 75 homes. Where’s the outrage?
  • Iranian general assassinated in Lebanon.
  • Russia inks “strategic partnership” with Iran.

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