Israel Daily News Stream 05/14/2012

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Iranian Atomic Urgency

The Associated Press obtained an exclusive drawing of what is reportedly an explosives containment chamber at Iran’s Parchin military site.

A drawing based on information from inside an Iranian military site shows an explosives containment chamber of the type needed for nuclear arms-related tests that U.N. inspectors suspect Tehran has conducted there. Iran denies such testing and has neither confirmed nor denied the existence of such a chamber.

The computer-generated drawing was provided to The Associated Press by an official of a country tracking Iran’s nuclear program who said it proves the structure exists, despite Tehran’s refusal to acknowledge it.

That official said the image is based on information from a person who had seen the chamber at the Parchin military site, adding that going into detail would endanger the life of that informant. The official comes from an IAEA member country that is severely critical of Iran’s assertions that its nuclear activities are peaceful and asserts they are a springboard for making atomic arms.

Anthony Cordesman sums up everything that’s known about Iran’s military program: its history, management, procurement of materials,  experiments, and centrifuges. Cordesman also addresses Iranian preparatory steps for a nuclear test, progress on integrating payload with a missile, and how the program fits into the context of peaceful civilian use Iran’s military.

Haaretz’s Anshel Pfeffer — who nicely summarizes Cordesman’s piece –goes so far as to call it, “The most important report on nuclear Iran you are likely to read.” And that’s just Pfeffer’s headline . . .

Arab Spring Winter

Don’t you just love politics? The Wall Street Journal points out a rather severe problem with Egypt’s presidential campaign:

Weeks of disagreement over who will write Egypt’s next constitution have dashed hopes that the founding document will be written before elections end in mid-June. That puts Egyptians in the unusual position of voting for a president whose powers and relationship to other government bodies are vague.

The EU sanctions additional Syrian individuals and firms, but the carnage continues. More at CNN.

Rest O’ the Roundup

A Financial Times staff-ed (click via Google News) weighs in on Israel’s national unity politics.

Haaretz launches paywall.

For more, see yesterday’s Israel Daily News Stream.

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The above is how Haaretz chose to illustrate the tensions in U.S.-Israel relations. This cartoon by Amos Biderman is offensive ...