Monday, July 2, 2012

US 'offers to supply Israel with military means to destroy Iran's nuclear plants'

US 'offers to supply Israel with military means to destroy Iran's nuclear plants'

by Adrian Blomfield,
March 8th 2012

Under the terms of the deal, Israel would be provided with "the latest bunker busting bombs developed by the US army" and air-to-air refuelling planes, the Maariv newspaper quoted diplomatic sources and Western intelligence officials as saying.

The newspaper did not specify the type of bomb allegedly being offered. The United States has already supplied Israel with 5,000-lb GBU-28 and GBU-27 "bunker-busting" bombs capable of destroying virtually all Iranian nuclear facilities with the exception of the Fordow enrichment plant, buried up to 280 feet under ground.

Iran has begun moving its material into Fordow, leading to claims in Israel that a unilateral attack would be ineffective once a period of six to nine months has elapsed, an assessment that has led to fears in Washington that the Jewish state is preparing to launch military action.

Israel's "window of opportunity" would be extended, however, if it were to take possession of the US military's new 30,000-lb Massive Ordnance Penetrator GBU 57-A/B, which would be capable of breaching Fordow's defences.

Israel's air force, however, has no B-2 bombers, making it unclear how it would carry the new bunker-buster. It is possible that the offer, allegedly made in a meeting this week between President Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, only involved expanding Israel's existing GBU-28 arsenal.

The White House denied that such an offer had been made between President Barack Obama and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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