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Bipartisan bill introduced to authorize supplying Israel with bunker-buster bombs

It requires the U.S. Department of Defense to consult with Israel on its capability to deter threats from Iran and provide a report to Congress.

U.S. Congress. Credit: Pixabay.
U.S. Congress. Credit: Pixabay.

Two pro-Israel members of Congress introduced a bipartisan bill on Friday to provide Israel bunker-buster munitions as Iran and the United States appear to be nearing an agreement in negotiations to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The Bunker Buster bill, drafted by Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D-N.J.) and Brian Mast (R-Fla.) will authorize U.S. President Joe Biden to provide Israel with Massive Ordinance Penetrator (MOP) bombs, which are capable of taking out Iran’s underground nuclear infrastructure.

The bill also requires the U.S. Department of Defense to consult with Israel on its capability to deter a full range of threats from Iran and provide a report to Congress.

“We must prepare for the serious threat of a nuclear-armed Iran when key provisions of the deal expire. That’s why I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan bill to defend Israel from Iran and Hezbollah and reinforce our ally’s Qualitative Military Edge [QME] in the region with ‘bunker buster’ munitions. Iran and its terrorist proxies across the region must never be able to threaten the U.S. or Israel with a nuclear weapon,” Gottheimer said in a news release.

The sale of bunker-buster munitions has long been suggested by pro-Israel organizations and scholars as a way to maintain Israel’s QME in the face of a nuclear Iran, including by the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA) and in a 2015 Washington Post op-ed by retired Gen. David Petraeus and former Ambassador Dennis Ross.

Gottheimer and Mast have previously worked together to introduce the Hamas International Financing Prevention Act in June 2021, which aimed to strengthen America’s ability to stop the revenue sources of terrorists funded by Iran.

“Since the radical Islamists took over in 1979, the Iran regime’s goal has been destroying the Jewish homeland, Israel,” Mast said in a release. “We cannot sit silent while they continue trying to wipe Israel off the map. That’s why Congressman Gottheimer and I are working together to pass the Bunker Buster Act. Israel must have the tools it needs to protect its people against Iranian aggression.”

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