Tags: Iran | bunker | busting | bombs | iran | carter

Ash Carter: Bunker-Busting Bombs Ready to Go Against Iran

By    |   Saturday, 11 April 2015 01:01 PM

The United States has bunker-busting bombs that can "shut down, set back and destroy" Iran's nuclear program, and the military option has not been taken off the table when it comes to the ongoing negotiations with that country, according to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.

"I believe the Iranians know that and understand that," Carter told CNN Friday, stressing that the Obama administration prefers handling the issue of Iran's nuclear weapons potential diplomatically, rather than through military means, "because military action is reversible over time."

The technical name for the powerful weapons Carter referenced is the Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), which can explode 20 feet underground and destroy deeply buried and fortified targets, and those weapons are ready for use, he said.

Carter's reference to MOPS is the first made about specific military planning against Iran's fortified underground facilities, reports The Jerusalem Post.

At one of the facilities, Fordow, 20 percent enriched medium-grade uranium is produced, and Iran's government insists it will only be used for civilian purposes. However, other countries fear that the uranium could be further enriched to 90 percent, The Post reports, which would be the amount needed to make material that can be weaponized.

Meanwhile, Carter also told CNN on Friday that any deal the United States and its allies make with Iran will include direct inspection of the country's nuclear facilities, as it must be based on verification and not trust.

On Thursday, though, Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khameni said through Twitter that "unconventional inspection" would not be an acceptable part of the deal:
He also tweeted that he is "neither for nor against the deal."

Carter also indicated in Friday's interview that Iran and North Korea could be working together, as they have collaborated in the past.

"In fact, North Korea worked with Syria, helped it build a reactor... North Korea is a welcome all-comers kind of proliferator," Carter said.

However, he said that Iran doesn't need North Korea "to teach them nuclear physics. They know plenty of it in Iran."

Carter also discussed another U.S. priority in the Middle East: the ongoing fight to contain and control the Islamic State, and said he "would not hesitate" to advise putting boots on the ground, but "we are not at that point yet."

President Barack Obama is open to advice and analysis, Carter said, but that does not mean "when any of us makes a recommendation, he will accept."

But ISIS and al-Qaida are still threats to the United States, said Carter.

"If al-Qaida was the Internet terrorists, these guys (ISIS) are the social media terrorists," he said.

Al-Qaida has been weakened through the past decade of "pounding" by U.S. forces, said Carter, but "they still have a serious preoccupation with direct attacks on the United States."

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The United States has bunker-busting bombs that can shut down, set back and destroy Iran's nuclear program, and the military option has not been taken off the table when it comes to the ongoing negotiations with that country, according to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
bunker, busting, bombs, iran, carter
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2015-01-11
Saturday, 11 April 2015 01:01 PM
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