“The Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) Slated to be Used against Iran
Under the title Pentagon bulks up ‘bunker buster’ bomb to combat Iran: U.S. Upgrades Weapon to Penetrate Key Nuclear Site; Push to Persuade Israelis, The Wall Street Journal reports that the US military is planning to use its “biggest” conventional bunker buster bombs against Iran:
The Pentagon has redesigned its biggest “bunker buster” bomb with more advanced features intended to enable it to destroy Iran’s most heavily fortified and defended nuclear site.
The newest version of what is the Pentagon’s largest conventional bomb, the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, has adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and high-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy the Fordow nuclear enrichment complex, which is buried under a mountain near the Iranian city of Qom. […]
The improvements are meant to address U.S. and Israeli concerns that Fordow couldn’t be destroyed from the air. […] Fordow has long been thought to be a target that would be difficult if not impossible for the U.S. to destroy with conventional weapons. (WSJ, May 3, 2013)
The official explanation for the possible use of the MOP bomb is that Israel does not have the military capabilities within its own weapons arsenal to permanently disable Iran’s nuclear facilities:
“U.S. officials see development of the weapon as critical to convincing Israel that the U.S. has the ability to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear bomb if diplomacy fails, and also that Israel’s military can’t do that on its own.” (op cit)
The Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB)
The MOP Massive Ordinance Penetrator is nicknamed the “mother of all bombs”. Its use would inevitably trigger an an out war against Iran with a scenario of military escalation.
The GBU-43/B or Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb (MOAB) version was categorized in 2003 “as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed” with the the largest yield in the US conventional arsenal. The earlier 21,500 MOAB bomb was first tested in March 2003 before being deployed to the Iraq war theater.
According to US military sources, The Joint Chiefs of Staff had advised the government of Saddam Hussein prior to launching the 2003 that the “mother of all bombs” was to be used against Iraq. (There were unconfirmed reports that it had been used in Iraq).
“The Department has an Urgent Operational Need (UON) for the capability to strike hard and deeply buried targets in high threat environments. The MOP [Mother of All Bombs] is the weapon of choice to meet the requirements of the UON [Urgent Operational Need].” It further states that the request is endorsed by Pacific Command (which has responsibility over North Korea) and Central Command (which has responsibility over Iran).” (ABC News, op cit, emphasis added). To consult the reprogramming request (pdf) click here
More years ago, at the outset of the Obama administration, the Pentagon confirmed (October 2009) that it intends to use the “Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB) against Iran.
The MOAB is said to be ”ideally suited to hit deeply buried nuclear facilities such as Natanz or Qom in Iran” (Jonathan Karl, Is the U.S. Preparing to Bomb Iran? ABC News, October 9, 2009). The truth of the matter is that the MOAB, given its explosive capacity, would result in extremely large civilian casualties. It is a conventional “killing machine” with a nuclear type mushroom cloud. The latest version of 30,000 is substantially large than the earlier version.
“Mother of All Bombs” (MOAB)
GBU-57A/B Mass Ordnance Penetrator (MOP)
MOAB: screen shots of test: explosion and mushroom cloud (right)
The broader issue of civilian casualties is not mentioned. The explosion of a conventional monster MOAB bomb would result in nuclear mushroom cloud similar to that of a tactical nuclear bomb.
The MOP is described as “a powerful new bomb aimed squarely at the underground nuclear facilities of Iran and North Korea. The gargantuan bomb—longer than 11 persons standing shoulder-to-shoulder [see image above] or more than 20 feet base to nose” (See Edwin Black, “Super Bunker-Buster Bombs Fast-Tracked for Possible Use Against Iran and North Korea Nuclear Programs”, Cutting Edge, September 21 2009)
These are WMDs in the true sense of the word. The not so hidden objective of the “mother of all bombs” (MOAB) is “mass destruction” and mass civilian casualties with a view to instilling fear and despair.