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Planned bomb sale to Israel raises fears of strike on Iran

By Reuters

04/28/05
- - Washington: The Pentagon has notified Congress of a proposed US sale to Israel of 100 guided bunker-busting bombs, a move raising concerns about a unilateral Israel strike against Iran.

Israel has requested the GBU-28s worth about $US30 million ($39 million), the Pentagon's Defence Security Co-operation Agency said in a notice required by law for government-to-government military sales.

The Lockheed Martin GBU-28 was developed to penetrate command centres deep underground and would be used by the Israeli Air Force on its US-built F-15 aircraft, the agency said.

Israel - believed to be the Middle East's only nuclear-armed state - has denied speculation that it might make a military strike on Iran to prevent it from producing an atomic bomb.

In 1981 Israeli jets attacked an Iraqi reactor, driving Saddam Hussein's quest for a bomb underground.

The Pentagon agency said the sale of the GBU-28s would "not affect the basic military balance in the region".

Loren Thompson, of the Lexington Institute in Virginia, said: "This particular munition is designed to destroy deeply buried high-value assets such as command centres or nuclear weapons facilities. Draw your own conclusions."

Congress has 30 days to reject the planned military sale.

Copyright: Reuters

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