Just as Israeli analysts were warning that Iran could, at any time, launch a ballistic missile attack from a network of underground tunnels, Iranian TV news aired a report on the underground power of the Iranian military. The report, which functioned more like a propaganda piece, featured one such underground tunnel loaded to the gills with various weaponry. Iranian military leaders made it quite clear that they didn’t fear spy technology. Rather, it will be the “foreigners” who will fear the sheer power of Iran’s “military might.”
Of course, the entire thing could be a well-timed media ruse; more pomp and circumstance in the wake of the Iran Deal debacle. But, Iran’s military propaganda is also a sad reminder that even the Pentagon is unsure of its capability to disarm an Iranian weapons facility buried that deep underground.
The suggestion of proffering America’s Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) to Israel in exchange for passage of a deal with Iran was what many elected officials on Capitol Hill, including New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, used to justify their support for the Iran Deal. Booker cited the gifting of MOPs to Israel as a method “to help Iran deter cheating.” Ironically (or perhaps, not so much) the MOPs are off the table, along with the American air support it would take to drop such a massive bomb:
“Conditions now are different than at the time we presented the idea,” said David Deptula, a retired lieutenant general of the Air Force, who initially suggested the transfer of MOPs to Israel in an April 7 Wall Street Journal opinion piece he co-wrote with Michael Makovsky, CEO of the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs. In an interview with the Forward, Deptula explained that the idea of transferring the massive bomb to Israel was to allow America and its allies more leverage in their negotiations with Iran by proving “that there really is a military option.” But once the deal was signed, Deptula added, it would be up to Israel to decide if it really needs the system and, ultimately, up to the United States to use these means by its own air force if needed in case Iran does not live up to its end of the deal.
The pro-deal folks on Capitol Hill better hope that Iranian piece was propaganda at its finest. If not, they probably want to start building their own bunkers. Not to hide from Iran, but to duck and cover from their own constituents.