Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Stuxnet Virus in Iran
Nadene Goldfoot

Iran has told the world that their nuclear program only has the best of intentions. They just need the power, as if oil in their backyard isn't enough. At the same time they have threatened Israel in the worst possible ways, saying they will destroy the country. They do not jest.

If Iran gains atomic weaponry, all countries are in danger who are within range. Even such places that are fairly close such as Saudi Arabia would be in harm's way. Remember, Iran and Iraq had a war going on from September 1980 to August 1988. Iran is not an Arab country. They differ in their Muslim religion. Iran is Shiite, Iraq is Sunni. Miracle of all miracles, the stuxnet virus, found in July 2010 was able to find its way into Iran's computers and has set back their nuclear program by two years, which was announced in the middle of December 2010. It's thought that by June of 2012, they just might have the problem cleaned up.
The German conputer consultant, Langer, analyzed their program's code. Those countries worried feel the virus was almost as good if not better than a military strike. No one was killed in the process. However, I have read that a few computer scientists have been executed already over it.

In December of 2010 the stuxnet virus was still infecting Iran's computer systems at the uranium enrichment facility at Natanz and the reactor at Bushehr. This is the most advanced and aggressive malware in history. Iran may have had to throw all their computers out and also may have had to rebuild their centrifuges as well as buy a new turbine for Bushehr. Iran had 62,867 computers infected with stuxnet which will have to be replaced.

Mossad's Meir Dagan thought that Iran wouldn't have the bomb till 2015. If the virus hadn't come along, he thought they would have had it by 2011. Now he's projected 2014 as the date for having the bomb. Iran is trying to speed things up with Russian scientists who want to back off, saying that Iran could have another Chernobyl because they are not into safety standards.

Even J Street's Susskind remarked that "there are creative ways of working around military brinksmanship." This is something he does not complain about.

It's thought that when Iran is weak, they will become more recalcitrant. The leaders plan on small points to expect from them first, before getting to the bigger issues.

Iran is the only clerically ruled country in the world but also is a presidential republic. It's definitely a theocracy that many Muslims are not deeply happy about. A country with a population of 70,495,782 of which 98% are Shi'a Muslims. They have a military power made up of 545,000. Yet only 53% of Iranians are actually Persians. (Persia was the original name-therefore they have many immigrants). Many Jews used to live in Persia since the days of Queen Esther "Hadassah". 50,000 Jews left for Israel. My professor in Israel had come from Iran and had seen his friends hung for small infractions and for being Jewish. I have a relative who escaped at age 16 on a camel and saw several of his friends shot in the act.

Resource: http://www.jpost.com/IranianThreat/News/Article.aspx?id=199475 12/15/2010

http://www.jta.org/news/article/2011/01/18/2742605/do-stuxnet-revelations-allow-breathing-room-or-create-more-pressure-on-iran
http://iranprimer.usip.org/resource/iran-and-islam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Iraq_War
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/tehranbureau/2011/01/israel-tests-on-worm-called-crucial-in-iran-nuclear-delay.html

Dr. Jonathan Adelman's Speech 1/24/11 in Portland, OR

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