Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Compare and Contrast - Attacking Iran's Nuclear Facilities

On one hand, you have Iranian president Ahmadinejad warning of a retaliatory "war with no limits"
"The United States has never entered a real war, not in Vietnam, nor in Afghanistan, nor even World War II," the Iranian leader told American editors and reporters when asked about how Iran would react to any US supported strike by Israel on Iran's nuclear facilities.

On the other hand, a complex cyber-worm called Stuxnet may be responsible for destroying at least one Iranian nuclear facility.

Langner is quick to note that his views on Stuxnet's target is speculation based on suggestive threads he has seen in the media. Still, he suspects that the Bushehr plant may already have been wrecked by Stuxnet. Bushehr's expected startup in late August has been delayed, he notes, for unknown reasons. (One Iranian official blamed the delay on hot weather.)
But if Stuxnet is so targeted, why did it spread to all those countries? Stuxnet might have been spread by the USB memory sticks used by a Russian contractor while building the Bushehr nuclear plant, Langner offers. The same contractor has jobs in several countries where the attackware has been uncovered.
"This will all eventually come out and Stuxnet's target will be known," Langner says. "If Bushehr wasn't the target and it starts up in a few months, well, I was wrong. But somewhere out there, Stuxnet has found its target. We can be fairly certain of that."

You have to hand it to Ahmadinejad for having the gall to make his retort when visiting New York City, but he (and we) may have no idea what tricks the US military would have in store for an overt war with Iran.

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