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US plans sale of bombs to UAE: reports

The US is proposing the sale of precision-guided bombs to the UAE, sources say.

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An ordnance hadler moves a 500 pound GBU-12 precision guided bomb as a U.S. Marines AV-8B Harrier jet taxis on the flight deck of the U.S.S. Bon Homme Richard in the Persian Gulf in 2003. (Justin Sullivan/AFP/Getty Images)

The United States has drafted plans to sell "bunker-buster" bombs to the United Arab Emirates, as part of an effort to build a regional coalition to counter Iran, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The technology would enable the UAE to target structures such as bunkers and tunnels, where Iran is suspected to be developing nuclear weapons, Politico reported.

According to Reuters:

The Pentagon is considering a significant sale of Joint Direct Attack Munitions made by Boeing Co, adding to other recent arms deals with the UAE. These include the sale of 500 Hellfire air-to-surface missiles about which U.S. lawmakers were notified in September.

The weapons sale proposal will be presented to Congress in a few days, the Wall Street Journal reported.

According to Politico:

According to administration officials, growing UAE’s stockpile would allow the country to assume a role in which it can deter Iran and have an expanded security role in the region, the Journal said, and those familiar with discussions about the proposal told the publication that a serious congressional challenge to the plan isn’t expected.

Tensions between the United States and Iran have mounted since a report by UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, that offered evidence that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

“An Iran armed with nuclear weapons is an intolerable threat to regional and international security, and we remain determined to prevent that outcome,” White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters on Thursday.