May 4, 2013
The U.S. has designed a bunker buster penetrator bomb that will take out Iran’s Fordow nuclear enrichment complex, a target previously considered too fortified for conventional weapons. The new weapon, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars to produce, is considered critical to an effort by the United States to convince Israel that the U.S. can effectively bomb the Iranian underground complex, according to a report published by The Wall Street Journal.
The Journal reported that senior U.S. officials showed the Israelis a secret Air Force video showing a test of an earlier version of the bomb. The show-and-tell is described as an attempt to convince Israel to hold off on a unilateral attack on Iranian nuclear installations.
Haaretz reports that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has assured the Israelis that the U.S. will consider military options against Iran following the country’s summer elections. The Journal reports that an understanding was reached on action against Iran during Hagel’s recent visit to Israel. It is said both countries will conduct a “joint situation assessment” following the Iranian elections and if diplomatic efforts are ruled out discussions on military action will be considered.
Iran’s election will not determine the outcome of Iran’s nuclear program, so the assessment appears pointless. “Bizarre, to say the least, because Iran’s president has limited power over the nation’s civilian nuclear program, and even less on the P5+1 negotiations. Rather, while Ahmadinejad’s rhetoric is often cited as an excuse for war, his actual ability to implement changes in Iranian policy is comparatively minimal,” writes Jason Ditz.