US Military Officials: Iran's Nuclear Bunkers Vulnerable to Attack

Wednesday, 29 Feb 2012 11:35 AM

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Iran’s underground nuclear sites are not as immune to aerial bombing attacks as previously thought. U.S. military planners are increasingly confident that the Fordow facility built into mountainous bunkers in northwest Iran is far from impregnable, The Washington Post reported.

Military and intelligence analysts are uncertain whether new “bunker buster” bombs called the Massive Ordnance Penetrator could reach the underground chambers where Iran is making enriched uranium. However, they believe a sustained attack would collapse tunnels, damage sensitive equipment, and render the plant unusable, the Post reported.

“Hardened facilities require multiple sorties,” a former senior intelligence official told the Post. “The question is, how many turns do you get at the apple?” Officials noted that the United States has been running training exercises in which bombers assaulted similar targets in deeply buried bunkers and mountain tunnels, exercises that have raised the belief that such attacks could succeed.

U.S. officials and analysts tell the Post that, although Israel has the capability to launch bunker-buster bombs against Fordow it does not have either the advanced bombs or the ability to maintain an attack on the site for days or weeks, the Post reported.

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