Policy & Strategy

US could use new megabomb against Iran, says general

And to Lt. Gen. Herbert Carlisle, Air Force deputy chief of staff for operations, it is the perfect weapon to hit the heavily fortified underground bunkers where Iran is suspected to be hiding its nuclear weapons work. 

“The massive ordnance penetrator is a great weapon,” Carlisle said during a speech Thursday in Arlington, Va. “We are continuing to improve that. It has great capability now and we are continuing to make it better. It is part of our arsenal and it will be a potential if we need it in that kind of scenario.” 

{mosads}Use of the new megabomb is one of many military options the Pentagon is considering if the decision to act against Iran is made. Planning for military action against Iran has been under way at the Pentagon for a quite some time, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told the National Journal this week. 

While American warplanes might carry the new megabomb in an attack against Iran, Israeli bombers will not. White House spokesman Jay Carney on Thursday dismissed recent news reports that the United States would supply the new bomb to the Israeli military.

“There was no such agreement discussed or reached in the meetings the president had,” Carney said regarding recent meetings between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. 

“We have a lot of cooperation with the Israeli military. We have provided materiel to the Israeli military in the past, and I’m sure we will continue to do that as part of our cooperation with and partnership with the Israeli military,” Carney said.  

On Tuesday, Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.) told reporters that he believed an Israeli-led strike against Iranian nuclear sites was “very likely.” 

Iran continues to defy attempts by the international community to investigate its ongoing nuclear program. Tehran claims the program is geared toward energy, not weapons, development. However, it has on multiple occasions barred International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors from visiting certain facilities in the country. The United States has already implemented numerous diplomatic and economic sanctions to persuade Iran into complying with IAEA inspectors. However, Tehran continues to keep the nuclear program under tight wraps. 

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