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US wants bunker-buster fast, denies Iran is reason

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 12:27

Washington: The Pentagon is speeding up
delivery of a colossal bomb designed to destroy hidden weapons
bunkers buried underground and shielded by 4,535 kilograms of
reinforced concrete.

Call it Plan B for dealing with Iran, which recently
revealed a long-suspected nuclear site deep inside a mountain
near the holy city of Qom.

The 15-tonne behemoth, called the "massive ordinance
penetrator," or MOP, will be the largest non-nuclear bomb in
the US arsenal and carry 2,400 kilograms of explosives. The
bomb is about 10 times more powerful than the weapon it is
designed to replace.

The Pentagon has awarded a nearly USD 52 million contract
to speed up placement of the bomb aboard the B-2 Stealth
bomber, and officials say the bomb could be fielded as soon as
next summer.

Pentagon officials acknowledge that the new bomb is
intended to blow up fortified sites like those used by Iran
and North Korea for their nuclear programs, but they deny
there is a specific target in mind.

"I don`t think anybody can divine potential targets,"
Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell said. "This is just a
capability that we think is necessary given the world we live

The Obama administration has struggled to counter
suspicions lingering from George W Bush`s Presidency that the
US is either planning to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities
itself or would look the other way if Israel did the same.

Bureau Report

First Published: Tuesday, October 13, 2009 - 12:27

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