US selling Israel 100 bunker busters

USA Today:

In a move that could increase pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear arms program, the Pentagon says it will sell to Israel 100 “bunker busting” bombs designed to destroy deep underground weapons facilities.

The $30 billion deal, which must be approved by Congress, comes just weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon warned President Bush during a meeting at his Texas ranch that Iran was approaching a “point of no return” in its efforts to build a nuclear bomb.

The move coincides with diplomatic talks between Tehran and negotiators from Britain, France and Germany, who want Iran to agree to halt its effort to develop nuclear weapons. The talks have made little progress so far.

Thursday, Iran threatened to restart its uranium enrichment program if talks with the Europeans fail. “If there is no agreement and negotiations collapse, there is no choice but to restart the program,” Iranian Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi said. Iran insists its nuclear ambitions are limited to the peaceful generation of electricity.

Israel has sought the GBU-28 bombs, first used during the 1991 Gulf War, for at least seven years. It would be the first U.S. ally allowed to buy them, says John Pike of, a defense research group in Alexandria, Va.

“We're saying that if the Israelis were to attack Iran's nuclear facilities, we would support them because we have given them the means to do so,” he says. “It's communicating to the (Europeans) and other countries the seriousness with which we view this situation and that if diplomacy does not succeed we are prepared to pursue diplomacy by other means.”

The nuclear bunker busters that the US wants to build would be more threatening to Iran, but the Dems are squishy on that project.


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