The US will reportedly equip Israel with highly advanced smart bombs capable
of taking out fortified nuclear installations in Iran.
The 'bunker-buster' bombs, the Guided Bomb Unit-39 (GBU-39), have been developed to penetrate fortified facilities located deep underground - such as Iran's nuclear facilities.
Despite escalating speculation that Tel Aviv plans to launch attacks against Iran, Haaretz reported that the US Department of Defense confirmed on Friday that it would sell 1,000 GBU-39 units to Israel.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy suggested last week that should Iran continue with its uranium enrichment program, it could be attacked by Israel.
"We could find one morning that Israel has struck (Iran)," said the French president, adding that no one would question the legitimacy of such an act of aggression.
US President George W. Bush and upper echelons in Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Iran with war under the pretext that Tehran, a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), seeks nuclear weaponry.
This is while the UN nuclear watchdog, which has extensively monitored Iran's nuclear activities and has been inspecting the country's nuclear installations since 2003, said in its most recent report that there is no link between the use of nuclear material and the 'alleged studies' of weaponization that Western countries attribute to Iranian sites.
The UN body has also confirmed that Iran enriches uranium-235 to a level of only 3.7 percent - a rate consistent with the construction of a nuclear power plant. Nuclear arms production requires an enrichment level of above 90 percent.
Israel, however, is determined to use 'any option' to stop Iran's nuclear work, Defense Minister Ehud Barak said in early September.
The small size of GBU-39, which has been designed to enable jet fighters to carry a higher number of bombs in place of a single one-ton bomb, will allow the Israeli Air Force to hit more of Iran's 'numerous, distant, and fortified' nuclear sites than currently possible.
The bombs are capable of penetrating 6 feet (at least 1.8 meters) of reinforced concrete and more than 3 feet (approximately 1 meter) of steel-reinforced concrete.
An unnamed Pentagon official revealed to the Sunday Telegraph in July that US commanders have had 'little confidence' with 'no guarantee' that Israel would be able to destroy the Iranian nuclear program.
An Israeli Air Force equipped with GBU-39s, however, may be able to provide the 'guarantee' the US has been seeking.
Meanwhile, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev warned on Friday that he would not accept any military action against Iran.
In the past decade, Russia has helped Tehran in the construction of a 20,000-megawatt nuclear power plant in the southern Iranian city of Bushehr.
Electricity shortage has forced the government in Tehran to adopt a rationing program by scheduling power outages - of up to two hours a day - across both urban and rural areas in the country.
A source close to the Russian military said last week that Moscow is considering providing Iran with more nuclear assistance amid Russia's escalating tensions with the US over the August crisis in the Caucasus - which Russia says was orchestrated by the Bush administration.
... Payvand News - 09/15/08 ... --