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December 12, 2016 1:24 pm

Iranian Official Reveals ‘Uncovering’ of Major US Cyber-Attack Plot — Failing to Mention Info Obtained From American Docu-Drama

avatar by Ruthie Blum

The slide of a clip in which 'Zero Days' is discussed. Photo: YouTube.

The slide of a clip in which ‘Zero Days’ is discussed. Photo: YouTube.

An Iranian Civil Defense Organization official announced on Monday that the United States is plotting a major cyber-attack on the Islamic Republic that will be more dangerous and wreak far more havoc that the Stuxnet virus, the semi-official state news agency Fars reported.

Addressing a conference in Tehran, Alireza Karimi said, “At present, the US has launched a project named Nitro Zeus with the aim of attacking Iran’s defense and telecommunication infrastructures.”

Karimi failed to mention, however, that he was actually referring to information revealed in “Zero Days,” an Alex Gibney docu-drama that premiered in July at the Berlin International Film festival. The film claimed that Nitro Zeus was developed as a backup plan in the event that Western efforts to curb Iran’s nuclear program by diplomatic means failed.

According to a description of the movie in the Tech Times, the major operation “took on great urgency as the [US] government believed that Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would launch a strike on the nuclear facilities of Iran, a move that would draw in the United States into the hostilities that [would] follow.”

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However, the film claims that Nitro Zeus, the code name given to the mass malware operation that cost many millions of dollars, was shelved when the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action — otherwise known as the nuclear deal — was signed between six world powers and Iran last year in July 2015.

In an extensive piece about the film, Newsweek wrote:

Gibney traces the development of Stuxnet to the last years of George W. Bush’s administration. It was a major operation, participants tell him, involving the CIA, the National Security Agency (NSA) and U.S. Cyber Command. On the Israeli side, it involved the Mossad…and Unit 8200, its military signals intelligence division. Britain’s General Communications Headquarters, its signals intelligence corps, also played a role. After the code for Stuxnet was written, it was tested both in the US and Israel on centrifuges identical to those used by Iranians. When CIA officials showed Bush the shards of a centrifuge that Stuxnet had destroyed, the president gave the OK to use it against Iran. The era of cyberwarfare had officially begun.

The participants who confirmed Stuxnet’s American and Israeli origins did so anonymously and off-camera, for fear of violating strict prohibitions against discussing classified information. That’s why Gibney used an actor…through [whom he] breaks his news in the film. “Stuxnet was just part of a much larger Iranian mission,” the character says… “Nitro Zeus would take out Iran’s strategic communications, air defenses, power grid, civilian communications, transportation and financial system…Nitro Zeus was the plan for a full-scale cyberwar with no attribution.”

Fars reported that Karimi’s remarks about Nitro Zeus came on the heels of a statement by the Civil Defense Organization chief, Brigadier General Mohammad Hassan Mansourian, who boasted his office’s capability to “defuse cyberattacks and cultural invasions.”

As The Algemeiner has reported extensively, Iranian officials have been issuing daily threats against Washington — particularly since last month’s election of Donald Trump to the presidency — about the Islamic Republic’s “fierce” response to any American breaches of the JCPOA, alongside muscle-flexing about the quality and quantity of its long-range missles. Two weeks ago, the Senate passed a motion to extend the Iran Sanctions Act for an additional 10 years, which spurred the regime in Tehran to warn President Barack Obama not to approve the move.

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