The upcoming issue of Newsweek, which is set to hit newsstands on Monday, claims that two years ago US President Barack Obama secretly approved the transfer of 55 "bunker-busters",
a form of deep-penetrating bombs, to Israel. The country had been requesting the bombs since the time of the Bush administration, the Daily Beast website reported on Friday.
According to the report, US and Israeli officials told Newsweek that the GBU-28 type bombs, which could be potentially be used in an attack on Iran's nuclear sites, were transferred to Israel in 2009, just several months after Obama came into office.
Green light to attack Iran? Obama and Netanyahu (Photo: GPO)
Israel had asked the US for "bunker-busters" in 2005, but the Bush administration refused the request. At the time, the report noted, the Pentagon had frozen nearly all joint Israel-US defense plans over fears that Israel was transferring advanced technological intel to China.
In 2007 Bush told then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert that he would order the bomb transfer in 2009 or 2010. Now the report reveals that Obama had already approved the transfer of the advanced weapons two years ago.
The report said that James Cartwright, the Marine Corps general who served until August as the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, noted that the military chiefs had no objections to the sale.
Cartwright said, there was a concern about “how the Iranians would perceive it,” and “how the Israelis might perceive it.” It was feared that the move would be seen as if the US was giving Israel a green light to attack Iran.
US and Israeli officials told Newsweek that Israel had developed its own bunker-buster technology between 2005 and 2009, but the purchase from the US was cheaper.