A computer virus designed by Israeli and American hackers did so much damage to Iran’s nuclear power program that it could have sparked an “Iranian Chernobyl,” according to reports this weekend.
Western intelligence summaries said Russian scientists, trying to help Iran with its nuclear program, warned Tehran to slow down its attempts to reactivate its nuclear power plants.
The Russian warning came after Iran’s nuclear program’s computer network was severely damaged by the Stuxnet computer virus — alleged to have been the work of joint Israeli and U.S. operatives.
Iran first attempted to commission a nuclear plant in the 1970s and delays prompted officials to insist that the Bushehr nuclear power plant be up and running by this summer.
But after the virus attack, Iran was warned of the consequences of sticking to that deadline.
Russian scientists urged the Kremlin to pressure Tehran to delay commissioning by at least a year while the full effects of the Stuxnet virus were examined, according to various reports.
They warned of a possible “Chernobyl” meltdown.
Media outlets reports that the virus caused computer malfunctions that destroyed at least one Iranian nuclear centrifuge — critical in producing nuclear weapons.