LONDON — With its nuclear program beset as never before by sanctions, sabotage and assassination, Iran must now make a new addition to its list of concerns: One of the biggest conventional bombs ever built.
Boeing’s 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP), an ultra-large bunker buster for use on underground targets, with Iran routinely mentioned as its most likely intended destination, is a key element in the implicit U.S. threat to use force as a last resort against Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
The behemoth, carrying more than 5,300 pounds of explosive, was delivered with minimal fanfare to Whiteman U.S. Air Force Base, Missouri in September. It is designed for delivery by B-2 Stealth bombers.
Would that weapon, delivered in a gouging combination with other precision-guided munitions, pulverize enough rock to reach down and destroy the uranium enrichment chamber sunk deep in a mountain at Fordow, Iran’s best sheltered nuclear site?