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Iran vows to counter any cyber attacks on nuclear facilities

07-27-2012 00:47 BJT

TEHRAN, July 26 (Xinhua) -- Iran has vowed to counter any cyber attacks on its nuclear facilities, Tehran Times daily reported on Thursday.

An unnamed official at Cyber Command of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of Iran's Armed Forces Headquarters said that the Islamic republic will give a strong response to any possible cyber attacks on the country's nuclear facilities, Tehran Times said.

"They should be aware that Iran will give a proper response to any act of defiance," the official was quoted as saying in response to reports about possible cyber attacks on Iran's nuclear facilities.

The Washington Post reported on Wednesday that two of Iran's uranium-enrichment plants were struck by a cyber attack earlier this week that shut down computers.

The virus closed down the automation network at Iran's Natanz and Fordow facilities, said the report.

In June, Washington Post reported that the United States and Israel had jointly developed a computer virus known as "flame" targeting Iran's nuclear ability.

U.S. officials said the virus secretly mapped and monitored Iran's computer networks, sending back a steady stream of intelligence to prepare for a cyber warfare, according to the report.

In May, Iran's media reported that Iranian cyber experts detected and contained a complicated Israeli spy virus known as " flame" that had targeted Iran's oil industry.

Over the past few years, Iran has been the target of numerous cyber attacks aimed to disrupt the country's nuclear systems.

According to a statement Xinhua obtained Thursday, Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak warned that his country is "committed to doing everything it can in order to stop Iran from going nuclear."

In an address to graduates of the army's National Security College on Wednesday, Barak said he is "fully aware of the difficulties and complexities involved in preventing Iran from attaining nuclear weapons."

Iranian officials contend that their program has only peaceful and medical goals.

The remarks by the Israeli leader came on the heels of the recent statement by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that 11, 000 centrifuges are currently operational in Iran's uranium enrichment facilities.

According to the earlier report of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the number of operating centrifuges of Iran reached 10,000 in May.

Earlier this year, Iran announced that it would start using new generation of domestically made centrifuges that enrich uranium at faster pace, according to semi-official Mehr news agency.

In the meantime, Iranian military power is gradually gaining considerable progress as the Islamic republic has launched a number of projects in the military sector over the recent years.

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi said Wednesday that the country would soon launch the production line of two domestically-manufactured military systems, Press TV reported.

"The production lines of high-precision missiles and armed flying boats (seaplanes) will be launched soon," Vahidi was quoted as saying without providing further details.

According to earlier media release based on June 29 Pentagon report to the U.S. Congress, "Iran has boosted the lethality and effectiveness of existing systems by improving accuracy and developing new submunition payloads" that extend the destructive power over a wider area than a solid warhead.

The improvements are in tandem with regular ballistic-missile training that "continues throughout the country" and the addition of "new ships and submarines," according to July 10 Bloomberg report.

The United States and its ally Israel have not ruled out the possibility of attacking Iran's nuclear facilities over the country's disputed nuclear program.


Editor:Zhang Dan |Source: Xinhua

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