The U.S. must provide Israel with 37,000 pound bunker-buster bombs to ensure the Jewish state has the means to “destroy Iran’s most deeply buried nuclear sites,” two congresspeople wrote on Monday.
“A longstanding component of America’s Iran policy has been a credible military threat to ensure that Iran does not obtain a nuclear weapon … Providing Israel with a stronger capability to destroy Iran’s nuclear facilities would help deter Iran from ever trying to break any [nuclear agreement] it may sign,” wrote representatives Grace Meng (D-Queens) and Lee Zeldin (R-LI) in an opinion piece for the New York Post.
The two called for the U.S. to boost Israel’s cache of bunker-busting bombs, which the representatives said no longer could destroy Iran’s most fortified nuclear sites, by providing the Jewish state with GBU-57 30,000-pound bunker-buster bombs, alternately known at Massive Ordnance Penetrators or MOPs.
Iran has developed underground nuclear facilities, such as the one at Fordow, to shield its research and development activities from military threats, especially from the United States and Israel.
The representatives wrote the U.S. must stay “negotiating [the nuclear deal with Iran] from a position of strength,” which they argued is undergirded by a “credible military threat” from Israel.
They insisted that providing Israel with the bombs would help “assuage the concerns of Congress and our Middle East allies, who are wary of the emerging nuclear deal.”
They said “more must be done for Israel to retain its ‘Qualitative Military Edge,’” arguing that “Israel already has significant offensive military capabilities, and it has always used them responsibly.”
In order to improve Gulf states’ weapons without jeopardizing Israel’s military edge, which is enshrined in U.S. law, the president may have to “proportionally strengthen Israel,” which could be accomplished through the delivery of these bombs, they said.
On Sunday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said it was not too late yet to salvage a “bad deal” with Iran.
“It’s still not too late to retract the plan that gives Iran an agreement which will pave it a road to a nuclear weapon,” said Netanyahu at a ceremony for Jerusalem Day.
Leaders from six Gulf states meanwhile met with President Barack Obama at Camp David last week, presumably to request additional fighter jets and defense systems from Washington, as well as to secure a military commitment from the U.S. regarding a possible confrontation with Iran.
The U.S., U.K., France, Russia, China and Germany are in the midst of negotiations with Iran to finalize an agreement by June 30 that would prevent Iran from procuring nuclear weapons, which Israel views as its greatest existential threat.