Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham

Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Dany Shoham

(Ph.D. Tel Aviv University) Former senior analyst in IDF military intelligence and the Ministry of Defense. Specializes in chemical and biological warfare in the Middle East and worldwide. Email: [email protected]

The North Korean Foreign Minister Visits Tehran

| September 12, 2018

Iran and North Korea are faced with similar challenges posed by the US, particularly since the summit between North Korean leader Kim Jung-un and President Trump. The recent visit of the North Korean foreign minister to Tehran might presage an attempt to covertly retain and transfer cardinal North Korean nuclear and ballistic assets to Iran.

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The Peculiar Chronology of Persistent Nerve Agents

A peculiar chronology can be spotted when examining the milestones marking the history of the development and use of persistent nerve agents around the world. Coincidentally or otherwise, Iran, North Korea, and Russia have all been mentioned in the context of nerve agents in recent years.

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The Iranian-North Korean Nexus After the Singapore Summit

The summit that took place in Singapore in June 2018 between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un likely had a significant impact on the Pyongyang-Tehran nexus. Given the depth of strategic cooperation between the two countries, Iran can be expected to take steps to minimize any challenges that will be posed to that cooperation, either directly or indirectly, by the tentatively developing Pyongyang-Washington relationship.

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Assad Addresses the Chemical Weapons Issue

In an unprecedented television interview on May 30, Syrian President Bashar Assad made detailed comments about his army’s alleged non-use of chemical weapons (CW). Referring to the (confirmed) employment of chemical weapons in Douma on April 7 and the subsequent US-British-French retaliatory raid, Assad claimed that CW had not been used by anyone (rather than by the rebels, as is usually contended).

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Syria’s Growing Chemical Weapons Entanglement

The chemical weapons (CW) possessed and employed by Syria since it undertook to completely get rid of them have become an increasingly tangled web over the past year. This has many ramifications, particularly in light of the recent US-Britain-France raid against Syria.

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Russia’s Toxic Legacy

The recent poisoning on British soil of Sergei Skripal, a former Russian military intelligence officer who acted as a double agent for the UK’s intelligence services, and his daughter Yulia with a very rare nerve agent of the Novichok type appears almost certainly to have been conducted by the Russians. While the attack is part of a long chain of similar incidents, it was an overwhelming event diplomatically, politically, practically, and in terms of intelligence. Two similar incidents in London exhibited common elements linking them to the Skripal attack. Together, they shed light on the apparatus that might be responsible.

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Why Won’t Russia Support the Investigation of Chemical Weapons Attacks in Syria?

Because of Russian antagonism, 2018 might see a termination of investigations by an internationally authorized apparatus into chemical weapons (CW) attacks in Syria. There is a tight, if indirect, connection between that termination and the existence of a residual and possibly renewed stockpile of CW in the hands of the Syrian army, which is backed by Russia (and Iran).

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The Wide Spectrum of North Korea’s Weapons of Mass Destruction

| September 26, 2017

In parallel with its growing offensive nuclear capabilities, North Korea possesses fully operational, extensive arsenals of chemical and biological weapons. Pyongyang’s possession of these weapons, which are intact and ready for use, has serious implications, some of which pertain to Iran and Syria.

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Defying Syrian Employment of Chemical Weapons: An Outstanding American Move

Thanks to concrete intelligence attained in real time, the US was able to warn Syria, publicly and decisively, about repeated employment of chemical weapons. This unusual development is meaningful on several levels, and mirrors the delicate geopolitical balance that exists in Syria and beyond.

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The Syrian Sarin Attacks of August 2013 and April 2017

The sarin attacks in Syria of August 2013 and April 2017 resemble one another closely. They reflect a strategic mode that might be repeated yet again by Assad, as long as he remains fully backed by Russia and Iran. At the same time, the geopolitical shift suggested by the recent US military response in Syria marks a desirable turn with consequential implications regarding the ongoing relationships among the US, Syria, Russia, and Iran.

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