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Stuxnet Allegedly Loaded By Iranian Double Agents 167

Posted by samzenpus
from the who's-to-blame dept.
First time accepted submitter rainbo writes "According to a report from ISSSource, a saboteur who was likely a member of an Iranian dissident group loaded the Stuxnet virus on to a flash drive and infected machines at the Natanz nuclear facility. Iran's intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, said that an unspecified amount of 'nuclear spies' were arrested on ties to this attack. Some officials believe these spies belonged to Mujahedeen-e-Khalq (MEK), which is used as the assassination arm of the Israeli Mossad."
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Stuxnet Allegedly Loaded By Iranian Double Agents

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Yeah, this is clearly done by some vigilance groups. There is nothing that would show US/Israel interest in this. Nothing at all!

    Cheerfully yours from the nothing-happened department.

    • by Kreigaffe (765218) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @06:46PM (#39666797)

      The US and Israel aren't the only countries that would rather Iran not be a nuclear power.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        And who are against them, other than US or those who lick US' asses? Both Russia and China support them.

        • by demachina (71715) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:04PM (#39666997)

          Saudi Arabia is probably as violently opposed to the Iranian's getting nukes as the Israelis. The Israelis have a large nuclear arsenal as a deterrent to Iran. The Saudi's don't have any deterrent of their own and would have to rely on the U.S. which could prove to be a fickle ally in a crisis, just ask Mubarak in Egypt.

          The Iranians are Shia Muslims, the Saudis are Sunnis, the two hate each other with the passion you often find in long running sectarian conflicts.

          There is a fair chance that if the Iranians get nukes the Saudi's will probably start developing their own to try to maintain the balance of power between Sunnis and Shia in the Middle East. The Saudi's getting nukes will probably not sit well with the Israelis.

          The Middle East will become either more stable thanks to three way MAD or very, very dangerous, thanks to three fanatically religious countries, who really hate each other, are very close together and will have lots of apocalyptic weapons.

          • The Iranians are Shia Muslims, the Saudis are Sunnis, the two hate each other with the passion you often find in long running sectarian conflicts.

            By some accounts [mcclatchydc.com], the strife in Syria is a proxy for a general sectarian war.

            • by Moryath (553296) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:29PM (#39667287)

              By all accounts, sectarian war is also how Saddam Hussein took power and ran his regime. Saddam was a Sunni, as were approximately 20% of the Iraqi population; meanwhile, he gassed the Kurds and engaged in major terror operations against the Shi'a.

              Arab society runs roughly thus: (sorry I can't paste the arabic script, Slashdot doesn't like it much):
              Me against my brothers until a cousin comes;
              Me and my brothers against my cousins until a neighbor comes;
              Me and my brother and my cousins against the neighbor until a foreigner comes;
              all of us against the foreigners.

              • by dwye (1127395)

                By all accounts, sectarian war is also how Saddam Hussein took power and ran his regime. Saddam was a Sunni, as were approximately 20% of the Iraqi population; meanwhile, he gassed the Kurds and engaged in major terror operations against the Shi'a.

                Um, the Kurds are Sunnis as well, just non-Persian Indo-Europeans. And like most dictators, he ran his regime by pitting each group against the others. If Tikrit had risen against him, he would have "engaged in major terror operations" against his home town, too.

                • by Moryath (553296)

                  The Kurds are (mostly) "Sunni" according to the classical definition, but they have a separate language and culture from the Arabs. Most Sunnis regard them as a separate sect because they follow the Shafi traditions whereas most Sunni today are Habali (the school most closely associated with the Saudis and Wahhabism).

                  To offer a christian level comparison, it's like the difference between being Catholic and Greek Orthodox. Both religions could be called "Orthodox", but there's a definitive split.

          • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

            by Moryath (553296)

            Arab shill group accuses Mossad of being involved in something they don't like.

            In other news:
            Dog bites man.
            Water is wet.
            Sky is blue.
            Republicans are racist.
            Clouds primarily composed of water vapor.
            Ratio of circumference of circle to radius = tau.
            Nickelback is lame.

            Wake me when we get some real news?

            • by Ihmhi (1206036)

              In other news:

              Zionists control the media!

              Dog bites man.

              Zionist dog!

              Water is wet.

              Zionist liquid!

              Sky is blue.

              Zionist atmospheric conditions!

              Republicans are racist.

              Zionist Christians!

              Clouds primarily composed of water vapor.

              Working in concert with the Zionest atmosphere!

              Ratio of circumference of circle to radius = tau.

              Heathen Zionest mathematics!

              Nickelback is lame.

              We agree.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Simploid (1649955)

            "The Iranians are Shia Muslims, the Saudis are Sunnis, the two hate each other with the passion you often find in long running sectarian conflicts."

            That statement is a bit misleading. The hatred and conflict is not because of Sunni Vs Shia, but rather Wahabi/Salafy Vs Shia where Wahabi sect is considered a subset of Sunnie Islam. The distinction is important because even though there is unease between Sunnie and Shias in general, but it's not at the level of hatred with passion.

            Just thought to point that out

            • by demachina (71715)

              Did you not follow the last decade in Iraq, it was brutal Sunni .vs. Shia sectarian violence, including ethnic cleansing of neighborhoods using executions and torture.

              The uprising in Bahrain was also oppressed Shia revolting against a minorty Sunni monarchy and the Shia were largely crushed.

              • by tinkerton (199273)

                Sunni .vs. Shia sectarian violence

                I think it's very worthwile to overhaul the general description of middle east conflicts as sunni vs shia. Not that it's wrong, certainly not in Iraq, but it misleading. Iran's strategy in the region doesn't rely on it in any case. It's easier for them to connect with other shia but they won't stop there. The new egyptian government is sunni. It allowed iranian ships through the Suez canal. That's the first time in 30 years. Iran tries to have a good relationship with Turk

          • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @10:20PM (#39668711)

            I'm sorry. You're correct right up to your last sentence where you state that Israel is a "fanatically religious country". You're making intelligent arguments look bad.

            Israel has a population of 25% non-Jewish. They are run by a secular democratically-elected government with an electorate selection skewed "against" the religious majority. They are a very small country which has not only not expanded it's borders through military might since its founding but shrunk it's borders. Their cities are under a near-constant rocket barrage and regularly (more regularly than earthquakes in California) have suicide bombers in their major cities which hold the Sharia brand of Islam in high esteem (the so-called 'radical Islamists').

            They are a nuclear power. they have a conventional military which could take out the combined military force of several other countries in the region and still hold reserves - without touching the nuclear stockpile.

            Calling Israel a 'religious extremist' country has about as much stock in reality as calling Twighlight an epic masterpiece of Kermit the Frog one of the best philosophers of the 18th century.

            • by demachina (71715) on Friday April 13, 2012 @01:54AM (#39669991)

              "Their cities are under a near-constant rocket barrage"

              I'll agree it sucks that Hamas lobs rockets in to Israel, no argument. But they are largely crude and ineffective weapons and they get even more so as the expensive, American funded, antimissile systems are deployed.

              You know what probably sucks even worse. Living in Gaza in a walled ghetto with disturbing similarities to the ghettos Jews were forced to live in in Europe before and during World War II. It really sucks to live in a heavily populated urban area where Israel chokes off the most basic supplies and nearly all economic activity so people survive largely on the trickle of supplies from the tunnels. Where Isreale is draining 1.5 million people of all hope of having a life that doesn't suck. It also sucks when Israels military uses tanks, F-16's and attack helicopters to target Gaza because they are vastly more effective at killing people than the crummy rockets Hamas lobs in to Israel.

              I don't condone shooting rockets in to Israel but I do understand how the miserable, desperate people in Gaza would want to strike back in such a totally futile way at the people who've been manning the walls of their ghetto for the last half century, even though its largely ineffective and invites periodic retaliation on the people of Gaza that is usually several orders of magnitude more deadly.

              "has not only not expanded it's borders through military might"

              Only if you choose to pretend that the permenent occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Golan Heights isn't expanding Israel's borders. You might make that case were it not for the massive settlement activity in which Israel is seeking to make the West bank and East Jerusalem a part of Israel in contravention of international law which forbids an occupier from settling in occupied territories. Either Isreal needs to withdraw from the occupied territories or fully annex them in to Israel and give Arabs full citizenship. Permenent occupation, with illegal settlements is purely abusive on the part of Israel.

              Israel is only a "democratically-elected government" because they are actively disenfranchising Arabs. If you count all the disenfranchised Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, Golan and East Jerusalem who are under permanent occupation Arabs are fairly close to become a majority. I think the Arab population is growing faster than Jewish so its a near inevitability that Israel will eventually be a true apartheid state with a Jewish minority electing a government that dominates a largely disenfranchised Arab majority.

              Listen, I know there are a lot of level headed, forward thinking moderate Jews living in Israel, I follow some of their blogs and on Twitter. But the fact is people like Netanyahu and Avigdor Lieberman are extremists, they dominate the current government's rhetoric, thinking and agenda, and they seem to go out of their way to provoke confrontation after confrontation. They give Israel a bad name and they put Israel in the pretty similar class to Saudi Arabia and Iran as far as the fanaticism and oppression goes.

              • by gtall (79522) on Friday April 13, 2012 @06:42AM (#39671207)

                Yes, and Abbas claimed any peace deal with Israel was only interim until they were powerful enough to take over. When Israel turned Gaza over the Palestinian Authority, the missiles from Gaza soon followed. The Palestinians couldn't even run a strip of ground peacefully without using it to attack Israel. This only confirmed what Israel thinks of the Palestinians in general, i.e., they are incapable of running a peaceful state that is not dedicated to Israel's destruction.

                There's no whitewashing the fact that Muslims hate Jews; the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem was a Gruppenfuhrer in the Third Reich. He raised his own SS division in the Balkans from Bosnian muslims and rather thought Hitler should get on with job of wiping out the Jews. He also wanted the Third Reich to set up shop in the Middle East, ovens and all. Arafat was his nephew. He idolized the Grand Mufti.

            • It's still not a secular country in the way France for instance is secular. Israeli government pays a significant percentage of it's Jewish population to basically sit at home and study Torah. And it's not possible for an Arab citizen of Israel to marry a Jewish citizen, the only workaround is to leave the country and get married abroad, then Israel will recognize the union.
        • by Xandrax (2451618) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:11PM (#39667083)

          The answer to this question will become obvious if Iran gets nukes. If Iran goes nuclear, expect a number of Middle East countries to start taking steps to acquire nuclear weapons themselves, as a deterent to a nuclear Iran. These will be the same counties that didn't have an issue with not having nuclear weapons when Isreal was the only country in the region to have them.

        • by amiga3D (567632)

          Almost all their neighbors are against Iran having nukes. That was part of the fallout from the State Department emails leaked to wikileaks. A lot of the traffic was Iran's neighbors asking the US to please do something before that crazy fucker running Iran got the Bomb. I remember how when Israel converted Iraq's reactors to smoking holes in the ground their was some griping in the Media from Arabs but mostly they all just looked the other way. In fact I'm sure the countries they overflew on the strike

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          Russia and China may make noise in support of Iran in public. But do you really think either one of them wants to see Iran and Israel flinging nukes at each other, disrupting middle eastern oil production, and screwing up the whole world's economy? That outcome is, after all, where a nuclear-armed Iran leads. Russia and China may enjoy publicly poking a stick in the eye of the US, (And after all, after the bush presidency, who can blame them?) but they're not idiots. And they don't want to see nuclear w

          • by demachina (71715) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @09:05PM (#39668119)

            Russia has absolutely no reason to care if oil production in the Middle East is disrupted. They are one of the world's largest oil and gas producers. If the Middle East blows up Russia, or rather Putin and the oligarchs running Russia, will get obscenely rich, more so than they already are.

            Even if Iran does acquire nuclear weapons, and its very much open to debate if they are even trying, it doesn't follow at all that they would actually use them. Outside of the U.S. no one has ever used nukes, and its for a reason, they suck as actual weapons.

            They suck because there are very few situations where you can use them where the consequences of using them wouldn't be worse than whatever problem you are facing. You use them and you become an instant pariah or you get incinerated yourself. If you are about to be overrun in a conventional war maybe you would use them as desperate last resort, but if you have nukes it unlikely anyone would have invaded you in the first place.

            The only real value of nukes is as a deterrent, something that sits in a stockpile and is never used, but which discourages anyone from openly fucking with you, so they have to fuck with you through assymetric means instead. They are a pretty big win for countries like North Korea and Iran because they dramatically decrease the chances that a country like the U.S. which is increasingly fond of aggressive warfare and regime change won't fuck with you because it instantly becomes dangerous and messy invade a country with nukes.

            If you have them and your adversary doesn't or you have massive nuclear superiority over your adversary they have a limited value in that you can try to bully your adversary using them as a threat but any adversary with any sense will call your bluff because they know you will never use them.

            • by gtall (79522)

              Well reasoned. And how come you believe the nutjobs running Mid-Eastern countries are similarly disposed to such reasoning?

        • Russia and China oppose Iranian nukes -- obviously they prefer their nuclear club to remain exclusive and proliferation does not benefit them. They support Iranian nuclear energy, and oppose increasing sanctions on a country which has not even been proved to be perusing nuclear weapons, let alone actually built any yet. Russia and China prefer to wait until there's clear cause to apply punishment, perhaps realizing that a country which is punished because somebody thinks they're thinking about nukes has mor
        • by gtall (79522)

          Oh, you mean the countries that lick Iran's asses support Iran. Wow! Film at 11!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      TFS doesn't outright say it but TFA is pretty clear -- the /vector/ was an Iranian. The /source/ was Israel. This isn't some attempt to pull wool over your eyes, dude. Chill.

  • No matter who it was (Score:4, Interesting)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:00PM (#39666951) Journal

    No matter who was responsible, they pushed the world closer to war with that virus.

    I'm not convinced by what we've seen so far, what little evidence there is, that Iran is producing nuclear weapons or wants to. Even if you could prove that to me, it wouldn't change my position that we shouldn't be involved in their affairs and have no right to punish or sanction a nation for doing the same thing we do. It's the US after all with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, and the only nation to have ever used them (we get sort of a pass since they were unprecedented at the time).

    Iran is a sovereign nation and if they wish to produce nuclear weapons because they feel threatened by their neighbors (Israel, a nuclear power) or as a deterrent then that is their prerogative. Israel claims to feel threatened and vulnerable, that they're being menaced by Iran, yet they're the ones murdering scientists and sabotaging industries of other nations.

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      How about a pass because the Japanese Empire was a vicious and aggressive power that constituted a threat to the rest of the world, and that an invasion would have been easily ten times more costly in loss of life?

      The Nazis may have a more identifiable ideology but there was in Japan as well.

      • Re: (Score:1, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward

        We will never know for sure, but there is historical evidence that points to Japan's imminent surrender even before the atomic bombs were used. They were already utterly defeated as a military power.

        Whether the war continued on in name only on the home islands would have made little difference to the rest of the world. They had no further means to wage war from their archipelago; few natural resources to fuel a modern economy or war machine, and had lost a great mass of manpower. A naval blockade could have

        • by tomhath (637240) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @08:41PM (#39667941)
          Japan's strategy is well known and probably would have succeeded if the US didn't have nukes. They knew a military victory was not going to happen after the Battle of Midway. From then on their goal was to make the war so expensive in terms of men killed that the US would negotiate a ceasefire. 6000 Americans killed on Iwo Jima in a month long battle, 12000 Americans killed on Okinawa in thee months. By then an invasion of the Japanese mainland was unthinkable; the Japanese were waiting for the US to sit down and negotiate when the two nukes were dropped. No US casualties, two cities incinerated; only then were they convinced that total surrender was their only option.
          • by sqrt(2) (786011)

            Couldn't we have just blockaded Okinawa and waited a few months for them to starve to death? They weren't going to get resupplied and the island wasn't self sufficient, was it? Or it wouldn't be with constant bombardment. They wouldn't be growing crops on the surface. I know they had extensive cave systems but they weren't growing food down there. Even if they had stores, they wouldn't last forever. We could have just waited. We lost all those men by choice. Maybe it was the right choice, but we could have

            • by hrtserpent6 (806666) on Friday April 13, 2012 @03:02AM (#39670273)
              Maybe.

              The Iwo Jima and Okinawa invasions were planned as part of the same campaign. The goal was the airfields within 500 miles of the mainland. Our capture of Guam, Saipan, the Marianas and Tinian gave us long-range heavy bomber capability to carpet bomb Japanese factories, but the B-24s and B-29s had a rough time of it. It was a long flight: 3000 miles round trip, about 16 hours. Tokyo was right at the edge of the B-29s range, so a lot of planes made it back on fumes, or, if they took shrapnel through a fuel line, ditched in the middle of nowhere*. Plus, when they got over Japan, they had to contend with the Japanese air force all by themselves. They had no fighter escorts - the longest range U.S. fighter, the P47-N, only had a range of about 1800 miles (that's with drop tanks). The bomber wings were taking pretty high casualties, losing about 5% of all bombers sent out on each sortie, plus lots of dead gunners. We needed to have airfields much closer so we could have emergency landing places for the B-29s, SAR aircraft for downed crews, and those lovely fighter escorts. Air superiority wins wars, so the U.S. needed to capture islands much closer to the mainland.

              Iwo Jima jumped off first (19 February – 26 March 1945). Iwo Jima had three airfields, but it's only 8 square miles, not a lot of room, and no deep anchorage ports for the Navy. Okinawa (1 April – 21 June 1945) had four existing airfields, plus it's 500 sq. mi. Bonus: it's in the Sea of Japan. This allowed us to attack from two directions and also support some of the Allied forces in China.

              I don't think we realized how costly it was going to be to take the island. Plus we really REALLY wanted/needed those airfields. We thought we had figured out how to deal with the Japanese tunnel problem: flame tanks (M4A3R3 Zippo). We captured two of the four airbases within hours, and within a couple of days we held half of the island. It was taking the rest that was the problem.

              Another aspect to this is the whole world was getting weird while this was going on. We invaded Okinawa Island on April 1. USSR entered the war against Japan on April 6. President Roosevelt died on April 12. Ernie Pyle, the famous and well-loved war correspondent, was killed on April 18th while accompanying a mop-up operation on one of the outlying Okinawan islands. Germany surrendered on May 8, and we hoped Japan might be demoralized and surrender as well. That didn't happen. We needed to end the war, fast. Momentum was on our side, morale was on our side. We had a new, 'unknown' president (Truman). The U.S. was running out of creative ways to raise money. Churchill, Stalin and Roosevelt had already met in Yalta to carve up post-war Germany. The world was changing, a new order was arising. We were already looking beyond, and realized that we needed to be done with this whole thing.

              * I highly recommend "Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand. True story about a former U.S. Olympic runner who became a B-24 bombardier. Their plane developed serious mechanical problems on a long-range search mission. They ditched in the middle of the ocean, survived in a life raft for 47 days, then were captured by the Japanese and sent to one of the worst POW camps till the end of the war. Amazing story.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by caladine (1290184)

      Iran is a sovereign nation and if they wish to produce nuclear weapons because they feel threatened by their neighbors (Israel, a nuclear power) or as a deterrent then that is their prerogative.

      Not exactly. Iran is a signatory of the NPT.

      Article II: Each non-NWS party undertakes not to receive, from any source, nuclear weapons, or other nuclear explosive devices; not to manufacture or acquire such weapons or devices; and not to receive any assistance in their manufacture.

      It's their prerogative to do so sh

      • by sqrt(2) (786011)

        It's their prerogative to do so should they first decide to withdraw from the NPT, similar to what North Korea did.

        That was what I meant. Curious that so many people didn't seem to understand that it would work that way, and that they'd be within their right as a sovereign nation to decide which treaties they'll be party to.

        As it stands, they are party to that treaty, and are complying with it.

        • by caladine (1290184)

          That was what I meant. Curious that so many people didn't seem to understand that it would work that way, and that they'd be within their right as a sovereign nation to decide which treaties they'll be party to.

          This is /., you should know better! Iran should not, however, expect such a move to come without repercussions.

          As it stands, they are party to that treaty, and are complying with it.

          Sort of.

          Article III: Each non-NWS party undertakes to conclude an agreement with the IAEA for the application of its

    • by PPH (736903) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:16PM (#39667135)

      Yeah, maybe. But keep in mind that Ahmadinejad and Khamenei aren't beloved by even a majority of their own people. Look at the reaction to their latest presidential election. It doesn't take a large leap of faith to believe that there are probably a lot of Iranians who don't want this government to succeed. Or have nukes.

      • by timeOday (582209)

        Yeah, maybe. But keep in mind that Ahmadinejad and Khamenei aren't beloved by even a majority of their own people.

        Why do you think the protesters were the majority and not a sizeable minority? I see this self-serving assumption repeated over and over again. It might be true, but why do you think it is?

        • by PPH (736903)

          Why do you think the protesters were the majority and not a sizeable minority?

          Polling.

          And don't confuse popularity with votes. GW Bush was perceived to be an idiot by a large segment of the US population. But the old saying, "Don't change horses in the middle of the stream" got him re-elected. Mousavi might have won, but tossing Ahmadinejad out would have looked like a sign of weakness when Iran was (still is) under international pressure.

    • No matter who was responsible, they pushed the world closer to war with that virus.

      I'm not convinced by what we've seen so far, what little evidence there is, that Iran is producing nuclear weapons or wants to. Even if you could prove that to me, it wouldn't change my position that we shouldn't be involved in their affairs and have no right to punish or sanction a nation for doing the same thing we do. It's the US after all with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, and the only nation to have ever used them (we get sort of a pass since they were unprecedented at the time).

      Iran is a sovereign nation and if they wish to produce nuclear weapons because they feel threatened by their neighbors (Israel, a nuclear power) or as a deterrent then that is their prerogative. Israel claims to feel threatened and vulnerable, that they're being menaced by Iran, yet they're the ones murdering scientists and sabotaging industries of other nations.

      Right now there is something of a balance between the powers that have nuclear weapons today. Iran's unpredictable nature and history of supporting terrorists poses a risk to the balance.

      Speaking of WWII, 1) Germany would have used it if they attained it (their research didn't get that far) and 2) less Japanese died due to the bomb. A land invasion of Japan would have made Iwo Jima and Okinawa look like a cake walk for both the Allies and the Japanese as the Japanese population would have fought on unt

      • by bmo (77928)

        Right now there is something of a balance between the powers that have nuclear weapons today. Iran's unpredictable nature and history of supporting terrorists poses a risk to the balance.

        There is a solution to this.

        Make it crystal clear and publicly, in no uncertain terms, that a nuclear detonation by a hostile country in any country allied with us or even merely friendly to us, or in our own country, the US, will be met with corresponding or superior-in-number nuclear detonations in their country.

        In short,

      • by dwye (1127395)

        No, the Tokyo Fire Raids killed far more Japanese than the two atomic bombs, combined. More died in Dresden, too, but not by so large a ratio. Not that sqrt(2) cares, since he would be happy if we killed them all by starvation, just don't save Japanese lives by killing a small percentage with nukes.

    • by JoshuaZ (1134087) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:20PM (#39667197) Homepage

      There's a lot wrong with your remark. First of all, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treaty_on_the_Non-Proliferation_of_Nuclear_Weapons [wikipedia.org] so attempting to research or build nuclear weapons is a direct violation of their treaty obligations.

      Second, the large US stockpile is a concern, and the US is (correctly) taking steps to reduce the size of that stockpile (indeed has been for the last twenty years, in cooperation with Russia which has done the same to their stockpile). But the US weapons (in addition to being under treat compliance) are very tightly guarded and have many safeguards against accidental or malicious use. There's no such guarantee that Iranian weapons would be that way, and likely wouldn't be.

      Third, your remark about Israel doesn't reflect the actual geopolitical situation. Despite Israel and Iran not even sharing a border, Iran is one of the largest funders of Hezbollah and other groups which systematically engage in attacks on Israel. http://www.cfr.org/iran/state-sponsors-iran/p9362 [cfr.org]. In that context, Israel being afraid of what Iran, or elements in the Iranian government, would do with nuclear weapons makes sense. As for sabotaging industry- it is Iran, not Israel which refuses to recognize Israel's existence. At this point, Israel has peace treaties and functional relations with Egypt and Jordan (and a decent amount of tourism between the countries and commercial exchange). Israel is not on good terms with Syria, but they've at least had limited dialogue. Iran is pretty much the only country in the region which has both continued to sponsor attacks on Israel and has never sat down at the negotiating table. While one can argue that there's a large history of hostility and menacing on both sides, the essential facts are that Israel has sat down and signed treaties with other nations in the area, and Iran has never shown any indication or willingness to ever sit down. Israel is not at all blameless in the current situation, but it is Iran's belicose government that is the essential reason that Israel is concerned, quite legitimately, over Iranian nuclear ambitions.

      • by Lehk228 (705449)
        iran's current government did not sign that treaty, the now deposed government did, though they should formally withdraw if they do decide to build nukes
      • by Anonymous Coward

        "First of all, Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty" yeah because the USA has a great history on its obligations with things like the Geneva Convention and even it's own Constitution. It's just like the South Park episode 'Simpsons did it'... any fingers you want to point can be replied with 'USA did it'. Overthrow democratically elected leaders and countries 'USA did it' drop nukes on another country 'USA did it' smuggle drugs to fund black ops 'USA did it' spy on its own people 'USA did it' pu

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You seem to have trouble distinguishing cause from effect.

      It seems to me that first: without the threats that it has made against Israel and their nuclear program, that they would have no need to feel threatened by Israel (which is, in fact, not their neighbor). Any fear that they might have of actions by Israel is a result of their actions, not a reasonable cause for their actions.

      On the other hand, Israel's fear of Iran is a logical result of Iran's actions, and their actions (assassinations and sabotag

      • by sqrt(2) (786011) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:33PM (#39667347) Journal

        They are within striking distance of regional weapons. When Israel has nuclear weapons, missiles, and planes to deliver them, they can be considered neighbors.

        Also, Israel seems to think they have a right or responsibility to stop Iran from developing any nuclear technology, peaceful or otherwise. If they were developing nuclear weapons that might even make them justified in certain cases, but so far we have no proof of that. They have absolutely no right to sabotage peaceful nuclear power production, and so far that's all Iran has been doing.

        Israel will have ill-feelings toward Iran regardless of what Iran does because Israel is run by a group with the biggest persecution complex in the world--largely justified. Anything but fawning obsequiousness is taken as hostility. Look at the incredibly small movement away from Israel that the US has made in its foreign policy. The hardliners compare Obama to the appeasers of Hitler for having the audacity not to be completely in lockstep with Israel.

    • Nuclear weapons for all! As humans we have the natural right to walk around with nuclear weapons sticking our of our pants at attention! Hell, let's send some to Nigeria. How about Nuclear weapon day, where we all paint cute bunnies and write all over them with things like "Human sovereignty, where my nuclear exposition is like way bigger than yours".

      Come on bro, there has to be a limit to this kind of right-wing no government bs that you are trying to sell to me for an apocalypse and terrible hat fashion
      • by rtb61 (674572)

        That of course is the lie. Nobody is talking about banning nuclear weapons, no action is being taken against countries who have them, no sanctions are being applied to hoarders of them and nothing being done about countries who lie about and hide their existing weapons.

        Nope this is about Iranian oil, the US military Industrial complex and the Israeli's government desire to dominate the middle east.

        What is being done or said about the Israeli nuclear stockpile currently at between 200 and 300 warheads,

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Iran is a sovereign nation and if they wish to produce nuclear weapons ... then that is their prerogative

      False.

      Iran, a sovereign nation, has voluntarily signed (and reaffirmed multiple times) a treaty stating they will NOT produce nuclear weapons, AND will declare fully all their nuclear activity, AND agree to serious punishment if they don't live up to their obligations.

      Iran has repeatedly violated the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, and suffer the consequences of their actions.

    • by schlachter (862210) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:49PM (#39667465)

      They pushed the world further from war. Because various countries are able to sabotage and assassinate to slow down the Iranian nuclear project...an all out military option has not be used as of yet. You can bet your ass...that there would have been one by now had there not been options like Stuxnet.

    • It's the US after all with the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons...

      I see this stated often but it is factually incorrect. Russia has had the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons for decades, often by a large margin.

      See also http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_states_with_nuclear_weapons [wikipedia.org]

      • by tinkerton (199273)

        It will depend on how you measure it. In a weighted count the modern weapons get a higher weight.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      we shouldn't be involved in their affairs and have no right to punish or sanction a nation for doing the same thing we do.

      First of all, isolationism was tried, and failed spectacularly. The world political stability of the past half century is ample proof that isolationism is the exact wrong way to go.

      As far as hypocracy, once the US turns into a theo-dictatorship, which has repeatedly threatened it's neighbors, we can talk. Besides, once they get nuclear weapons, there's no way to stop them from using th

      • by timeOday (582209)

        First of all, isolationism was tried, and failed spectacularly.

        It was interventionism/activism that was tried and failed, from Germany and Japan's perspective.

    • The thing every Chicken Little running around shouting 'Nukes' ignores is that the conventional weapons (missles) all have return addresses which would be visited a hundred-fold over. Even smaller, non-conventional ones can(?) be traced back based on their isotope signatures. A case could be made if everyone had nukes, MADD would make them rather irrelevant. The biggest concern is their theft or unauthorized launch by psychos.
  • MEK (Score:5, Informative)

    by Tancred (3904) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:02PM (#39666983)

    The same MEK that's on the U.S. terror list, and yet openly supported by several high ranking figures in national politics.

  • israel probably did this, and they went to great lengths to make sure it was clandestine. we all know the horrible political repercussions israel would face from america if it were caught doing something as nefarious as killing scientists or hacking into power plants in a foreign nation with the largest minority jewish population in the middle east.

    its absolutely imperative that countries like iran be restricted access to develop their own power plants with their own fuel. they may divert their nuclear
    • israel probably did this, and they went to great lengths to make sure it was clandestine. we all know the horrible political repercussions israel would face from america if it were caught doing something as nefarious as killing scientists or hacking into power plants in a foreign nation with the largest minority jewish population in the middle east.

      The same America that did nothing when they bombed Iraqi nuclear facilities in 1982 [wikipedia.org]? The same America that bombed those same facilities in 1991?

      Why do you think

    • by amiga3D (567632)

      I don't doubt that Israel has killed a lot of people involved in the Iranian Nuclear Program. Nations generally operate from an "The end justifies the means" kind of position. They'll need to kill many, many thousands more to catch up to what Iran's rulers are doing to her own people though. If you wonder what I'm talking about just wander over to Amnesty Internationals page. Israel has had the bomb for a few decades now and has used it primarily as a deterrent to invasion. I doubt that Iran with a nuc

  • This story is politically charged and what is never reported is how China and Russia, for the most part, do not have governments that accurately reflect the views of the majority of its' citizens. Much can probably be said about many if not most of the governments in the world. The USA for instance is a very diverse nation culturally and ideologically. It would surprise me greatly if the average Iranian wanted to cause a military nuclear device to be set off in another nation anymore than the average person
  • Good luck to them. Peaceful methods have no effect, but the MEK alone have the courage to fight to the death.

  • Damn, it's getting so hard to figure out who to cheer now. Who exactly are the good guys again? Who is my team? I can't tell any more.

  • by alienzed (732782) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:21PM (#39667217) Homepage
    ...with:"Hey, can I check my email on that centrifuge?" -"Yeah sure!"
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 12, 2012 @07:23PM (#39667229)

    MEK is an organization of militant Islamic, Iranian leftists guerrillas. There are certainly a reasonable number of conspiracy nuts taking a break from their '9/11 was a Zionist Conspiracy using planted charges supplied by aliens' tirades who claim an association between them and Israel. But describing them as the assassination arm of Mossad seems to be a stretch based on the current available facts. If there's a clear tie - is there somewhere we can read about it? The conspiracy bloggers make my head hurt.

  • Witch Hunt? (Score:4, Informative)

    by sl3xd (111641) on Thursday April 12, 2012 @08:36PM (#39667879) Journal

    Is stuxnet now being used as an excuse for a good ol' fashioned witch hunt? Just accuse your workplace foes of espionage, get them hauled away, and step into the guy's shoes with a pay raise?

  • Iran's intelligence minister, Heydar Moslehi, said that an unspecified amount of 'nuclear spies' were arrested on ties to this attack.

    Are they measuring the spies by weight or volume? Most people would indicate a NUMBER of spies.....

    • by EnsilZah (575600)

      I believe the standard way of measuring nuclear spies is by their molar concentration in the whole population.
      They are actually found by taking a sample from the population and shaking it violently.
      Nuclear spies, being at a slightly higher energy state inevitably rise to the top and thus collected in a process referred to as reconnaissance refinement.

  • if someone merely loads malware onto a computer? what's viral about that?
  • Stuxnet was seeded by CIA agents littering the playing fields of Iranian nuclear plant personnel with abandonded pen drives. I suggested it.

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