updated 4/27/2005 7:03:33 PM ET 2005-04-27T23:03:33

The Bush administration has authorized the sale of as many as 100 large bunker-buster bombs to Israel. One expert said the move should serve as a warning to Iranians with nuclear ambitions.

The proposed deal, worth as much as $30 million, would provide Israel with the capability to drop 5,000-pound bombs that can penetrate bunkers and other buried structures. The GBU-28 bombs can be dropped from Israel’s American-made F-15 fighters.

“This proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been, and continues to be, an important force for economic progress in the Middle East,” the Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency said in a press release.

Although the proposed sale will give Israel a significant new capability to attack underground targets, the agency said the move would not upset the balance of military power in the region.

“The Israelis want to be able to attack Iran’s underground nuclear weapons facilities,” said John Pike, a military expert at Globalsecurity.org in Alexandria, Va.

The propose sale should give notice to Tehran that the United States will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power if diplomatic efforts fail, he said.

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