Israel Reportedly Made 'Wish List' of Weapons for US to Engage Iran, Hezbollah
The new Israeli government of Naftali Bennet, which came to power last year, has repeatedly warned that it might act preemptively to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Tehran insists that it doesn't seek to build nukes and that its nuclear programme is peaceful.
Tel Aviv compiled a secret "wish list" of weapons it wants the US to store in its Israeli-based War Reserves Stock Allies (WRSA-I) – stockpiles of American weapons stored for the country's use in case of war, the military news outlet Breaking Defense has reported, citing anonymous military sources in Tel Aviv.
The "wish list" reportedly contained various "aerial munitions" that Tel Aviv believes might be needed in the event of a conflict between Israel and either Iran or Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
While WRSA-I is essentially a stockpile of weapons for the use by the American military, it can be tapped by the IDF as well in case of an "emergency", a report by the US Congressional Research Service (CRS) in 2020 showed. So if a conflict erupts between Israel and Iran, the IDF might be able to use the weapons from the reported "wish list".
"Officially, all this equipment belongs to the US military. If, however, there is a conflict, the IDF [Israeli military forces] can ask permission to use some of the equipment", the report said.
The US has already allowed Israel to tap into the reserves at least once. It occurred during the 2014 Gaza War between the IDF and Hamas. The Israeli military used 120mm mortar shells and 40mm grenade launcher rounds, which were about to be decommissioned due to their age.
WRSA-I received a significant boost to the stored armaments in 2014, with their overall value exceeding $1.8 billion. The stock contains not only ammunition, but also smart bombs and missiles, as well as armoured military vehicles.
22 December 2021, 15:58 GMT
Israel has repeatedly warned that it won't allow Iran to acquire nuclear weapons and that it will take action against the latter's nuclear sites if necessary. Media reports from October 2021 suggested that Tel Aviv had requested the purchase of 2.3-tonne GBU-72 bunker buster bombs from the US allegedly to be able to hit Iranian nuclear sites that are hidden deep underground.
Iran insists that its nuclear programme is peaceful and that nuclear weapons contradict the state religion – Islam. Tehran has lambasted what it calls the international community's double standards, citing its rigid focus on Iran's nuclear programme and lack of similar scrutiny about the numerous allegations that Tel Aviv built nuclear devices decades ago. Israel neither denies nor confirms its nuclear status and does not comment on the reports of possessing stocks of nukes.