Wednesday Mar 07, 201204:55 AM GMT
Israel asks US for bunker-buster bombs, refueling aircraft
US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met in Washington on Monday, March 5, 2012.
Wed Mar 7, 2012 4:54AM
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has requested the United States to approve to sell GBU-28 bunker-buster bombs and advanced refueling aircraft to Israel, reports say.


A top US official said on Tuesday that Netanyahu made the request during a Monday meeting with the US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta in Washington.

The American official said that US President Barack Obama ordered Panetta to work directly with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the issue, indicating that the US government was inclined to approve the request soon.

The US refused to sell bunker-buster bombs and refueling aircraft to Israel during the presidency of George W. Bush, as it estimated that Israel would use them to strike Iran's nuclear energy facilities.

Washington provides Tel Aviv with nearly 3 billion dollars in military aid each year.

On February 27, David Sanger, a prominent American journalist, wrote in the New York Times that the US had provided Israel with the military technology and arms to aid Tel Aviv in a possible attack against Iran’s nuclear facilities aimed at sabotaging its nuclear energy program.

The US and Israel claim Iran is seeking to acquire a military nuclear technology have several times threatened to attack Iran.


Iran has strongly rejected the allegations and argues that, as a signatory to the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty (NPT) and a member of the IAEA, it has the right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.

MHB/MA

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