JERUSALEM - The United States plans to sell Israel $319 million worth of
air-launched bombs, including 500 "bunker busters" potentially able to hit
Iran's underground nuclear facilities, Israeli security sources said on
In June, the Pentagon said it was considering the sale to Israel of 500
BLU-109 warheads, which can penetrate five metres (15 feet) of
fortifications, in an arms package meant to "contribute significantly to
U.S. strategic and tactical objectives."
U.S. and Israeli officials had no immediate comment.
Israeli security sources said the procurement would go through. "This is
not the sort of ordnance needed for the Palestinian front. Bunker busters
could serve Israel against Iran, or possibly Syria," an Israeli source said.
Haaretz daily, citing Israeli government sources, said the sale would take
place after the U.S. elections in November.
Earlier this month, Haaretz said Israel sought "bunker buster" bombs for a
possible future strike against Iran's atomic programme, which the Jewish
state considers a strategic threat.
"Our response to any invasive measure will be massive," Massoud Jazaeri,
spokesman for Iran's Revolutionary Guard, told Reuters in Tehran.
Iran, which does not recognise Israel's right to exist, says its nuclear
programme has only peaceful purposes. This week it rejected international
calls to comply with the U.N. nuclear watchdog's demand to halt all its
uranium enrichment activities..