Pentagon: New Bomb That Reaches Underground Targets Will Be Available Soon
By VOA News
08 October 2009
The Pentagon says a massive 13,600-kilogram bomb capable of penetrating deep underground facilities should be deployable in the coming months.
Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell has told reporters Wednesday the "Massive Ordinance Penetrator" (MOP) is designed to defeat "hardened facilities" that are used by "hostile states to protect weapons of mass destruction."
Morrell declined to say whether deployment of the new weapon is linked to International concern about Iran's nuclear program. He told reporters that any efforts to "speculate about possible targets" are unhelpful.
Iran recently confirmed it has a uranium enrichment plant at an underground site near the holy city of Qom. The United Nations nuclear agency, IAEA, is scheduled to inspect the facility, which was built without advance notice to the international community, on October 25.
The IAEA visit was announced after last week's meeting in Geneva between Iran and six world powers that have been pursuing efforts to ensure that Iran's nuclear program does not include any work on nuclear weapons.
Tehran contends its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but Western nations suspect it may be weapons-related.
U.S. officials have not ruled out possible military action against Iran if diplomacy fails.