Aftenposten is reporting that a Wikileaks cable describes a November, 2009 meeting between a high-level delegation of Israeli and American political, military and intelligence operatives. On the agenda was the U.S. delivery of 100 bunker-buster bombs to Israel meant to be used to assault Iran’s fortified nuclear facilities. Those attending the meeting urged:
…That deliveries should take place in silence so that we could avoid allegations that the U.S. government was helping Israel to prepare for an attack on Iran, “the document noted…
From the discussion in the leaked document originating from the U.S. Embassy in Tel Aviv, it seems that the Israelis have obtained the bombs, by all accounts [approximately] 100, to break the Iranian nuclear program, the day they were to become necessary.
It has been widely reported that Israel would need such bombs to attack the Iranian facilities. But I’d never heard any report that quantified what was in the Israeli arsenal to this level of specificity.
It is also known that the Bush Administration supplied the bombs to Israel to penetrate Hassan Nasrallah’s underground complex during the Lebanon war. You’ll recall that Israeli generals were practically dancing on the rooftop of the Kirya believing they’d iced Nasrallah with one of the Big Boys. Alas, they missed and Nasrallah merely amped up his image as a nine-lived Muslim hero who could withstand the best Israel and the U.S. could throw at him. One wonders whether the same outcome could be in store if the U.S. and Israel were so foolish as to use those bombs against Iran. Damage? Yes. A knocked out program or even one severely disabled? Unlikely. Damage to the U.S. and Israeli image in the world? Beyond measure.
For more of what may be in store for Iran at the hands of the IAF, read this report of a radioactive bunker buster dropped on a Lebanese village during the 2006 war. It can be assumed that Israel would love to drop such weaponry on any Iranian nuclear facility in order to render them toxic to human habitation and thus cause even greater damage to Iran’s nuclear program.
Silverstein has published Tikun Olam since 2003, It exposes the secrets of the Israeli national security state. He lives in Seattle, but his heart is in the east. He publishes regularly at Middle East Eye, the New Arab, and Jacobin Magazine. His work has also appeared in Al Jazeera English, The Nation, Truthout and other outlets.