While the US has embarked numerous sanctions on Tehran to halt Iran’s nuclear program and destabilize it, the covert war aimed at destroying Iran’s nuclear program has reached new heights amidst the assassination of top Irani nuclear scientists and Cyber Worm attacks on the nuclear facilities.
The assassination of Iran’s leading nuclear scientist Majid Shahriyari on November 29, 2010 in a car bomb explosion has lead to a lot of speculations. On the same day Shahriyari’s colleague Fereydoon Abbasi survived a similar attack. Eight months earlier Massoud Ali Mohammadi, an expert in quantum physics, died in a motorcycle ridden bomb near his house. The murders are still a mystery but Iran has pointed out at its possible enemies, US and Israel.
Both scientists were part of Sesame Project which is an international scientific project aimed at Middle East scientific cooperation. Israeli secret intelligence agency Mossad is presumably involved in the killings; Mossad was also involved in killing a Hamas operative in Dubai last year.
Recently, Iran’s uranium enriching facility at Natanz came under attack by a computer worm called Stuxnet.
Stuxnet is a malicious computer virus which is inserted in the system via a USB device. It is reported to be responsible for the failure of 1000 centrifuges at Natanz.
Nuclear scientists suggest that Stuxnet is highly desecrating and impossible to dislodge.
David Albright, an expert on proliferation of atomic weapons, claims that the US and Israel have the manpower, motivation and resources to do this.
An important question in this regard is that Iran’s nuclear program is not connected to the worldwide web so how did the worm entered Natanz? Iran blames the western intelligence in disguise of inspectors from international atomic energy agency who often visit to monitor the nuclear program.
The cyber sabotage can lead to development of more sophisticated centrifuges in order to prevent such attacks. It is believed that Iran may retaliate, resulting in a new era of cyber warfare which may prove potentially dangerous for the US. Iran has always maintained that its nuclear program is aimed at producing effective energy source but the US and allies have avenged an open war at the Iran’s nuclear program.
It is ironic that while America has its own huge arsenal of nuclear bombs, it wants to deprive Iran of its nuclear energy for so called world peace. Despite the fact the first ever atomic bomb was used by US itself, killing hundreds of thousands in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it is so wary of nuclear programs of other countries.
Although, assassination of leading scientists and ongoing cyber warfare has caused a lot of disruption in nuclear technology and fury in Iranian establishment, it has not been able to exert a halt on the program.