CHICAGO (CBS) — An outspoken University of Chicago political scientist says talk of deploying bombs over Iran is really an effort to secure tougher international sanctions against that country.

As WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, political science professor John Mearsheimer says Israel does not have the refueling capacity for support an attack on Iranian nuclear sites.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports

“Secondly, it appears that the Israelis do not have the bombs that are necessary to penetrate deep enough into the ground to destroy Iran’s nuclear capability,” Mearsheimer said.

Mearsheimer says while the U.S. has supplied Israel with deep penetrating bunker buster bombs, it hasn’t provided the biggest ones needed to attack Iran’s Fordo uranium enrichment facility dug into a mountain near the holy city of Qum.

Mearsheimer says even absent an attack, talk of one has a point.

“Many people believe that what the Israelis are doing is they’re threatening war for the purpose of getting us to toughen the sanctions against Iran,” he said.

He says Israel knows it could not delivery an effective attack without U.S. support.

Mearsheimer adds that a careful reading of Iranian statements shows leaders are not, in fact, threatening a nuclear attack on Israel at all. Instead, he said, they are predicting that the Israeli government would disappear as did the earlier governments of the Soviet Union and Iran.

Mearsheimer is an international relations expert, and the author of Why Leaders Lie: The Truth about Lying in International Politics. He is also the author of The Tragedy of Great Power Politics and the co-author of the New York Times bestseller The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy, with Harvard University international affairs professor Stephen Walt.