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      Israel May Delay Attack in Return for MOP Bunker Buster Bombs

      Maariv reports U.S. may supply Israel with refueling planes and "ginormous" MOP bunker-busters.
      By Gil Ronen
      First Publish: 9/4/2012, 9:49 AM

      Air Force mid-air refueling
      Air Force mid-air refueling
      Israel news photo: IDF

      The United States may supply Israel with advanced Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) bunker-buster bombs that can penetrate through up to 60 feet (almost 20 meters) of reinforced concrete, reports Maariv Tuesday.

      This is part of a deal being worked out between the countries, which also includes the supply of refueling jets.

      This equipment will make the job of demolishing Iran's nuclear weapon production array more feasible for Israel, should it decide to do so.

      In exchange for the weapons, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will agree to hold off on an independent attack until after the U.S. elections. President Barack Obama fears that a war could negatively affect his chances of being reelected. Israel, on the other hand, fears that Obama's re-election could create diplomatic and military conditions that allow Iran to acquire the weapon it needs for killing millions of Israelis.

      Obama may soon publicly describe the "red lines" which, if crossed by Iran, would trigger a U.S. military response. Maariv speculates this could happen when he gives a speech at the UN on Yom Kippur eve, or even in his speech at the Democratic National Convention.

      These steps may mollify Netanyahu, and could be the reason for his apparently less forceful statements on Iran in the past two days.

      The Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) GBU-57A/B is a U.S. Air Force precision-guided, 13,000-kg (30,000-pound) bomb, and the most destructive bunker-buster yet. According to a Wired.com piece last week, the USAF has announced it has finally completed building that bomb: "It’s an absolutely ginormous bomb designed to convince rogue regimes that there is no redoubt for the manufacture of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons buried deep enough to escape the U.S. Air Force."

      "The military has been at work super-sizing its bunker-busters for years," writes Wired, "and the Massive Ordnance Penetrator is the premier upgraded weapon. Supposedly, it can penetrate 60 feet of reinforced concrete, although it depends just how hard that concrete is. Although the Pentagon has spent over $200 million developing 30 of the bombs, there are doubts over how well-equipped it is to destroy the hardened facilities believed to house Iran’s nuclear program."