Supporters of a diplomatic solution to Iran’s nuclear program may be worried by a recent Associated Press article that states the Pentagon is “speeding up” production of a new behemoth bomb. Boeing was recently awarded a contract to construct a 30,000 pound “massive ordinance penetrator,” which can be dropped from a stealth bomber and carries 5,300 pounds of explosives.
The Pentagon has acknowledged that the rationale for building such a massive weapon is to provide the ability to attack fortified sites like those in North Korea and Iran. Military officials have denied, however, that Iranian nuclear facilities are currently being considered as future targets. Geoff Morrell, the Pentagon press secretary, has said,
I don’t think anybody can divine potential targets…This is just a capability that we think is necessary given the world we live in.
It is unclear what targets other than the nuclear facility at Qom would motivate the U.S. military to accelerate the production date of a “laser-guided bomb with a capacity to penetrate and plunder targets 60 metres [about 200 feet] underground.” According to a report by the Toronto Star, Congress has agreed to a spend $64 million to obtain four such bombs.
Analysts believe that any military option for dealing with Iran is still a long way from being implemented, but is not entirely off the table. Meir Javedanfar, an Iranian living in Tel Aviv, has stated that:
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The possibility of a military attack is not high, but anyone who thinks it is zero would be mistaken…The best hope remains that the Iranian leadership will see the peaceful deal that Obama is presenting: Iran can have nuclear energy and excellent relations with the West,” said Javedanfar, director of http://middleeastanalyst.com/.