The Iranian government claimed Sunday that it had arrested four individuals accused of trying to sabotage the country’s nuclear sites. While the exact sites allegedly targeted were not named, if such sabotage is indeed going on, it likely involves the Fordow (Qom) nuclear enrichment site, which is buried deep in a mountainside and is considered difficult to destroy via aerial assault.
The accusations come on the heels of the death of Mojtaba Ahmadi, Iran’s head of cyberwarfare, which both Iran and Israel said was not an Israeli attack.
Whatever the explanation, a large number of such operations have been going on against Iran–and against the U.S. and Israel as well. Even as President Barack Obama attempted to reach out to Iranian president Hassan Rouhani in September, the U.S. Navy revealed that Iran had attacked its computers and Rouhani complained to the United Nations General Assembly about the “criminal assassination” of Iranian nuclear scientists.
Already, the Obama administration claimed credit–for both the U.S. and Israel, though Israel experts were not too impressed with the claim–for the Stuxnet virus that disabled some centrifuges in Iran’s nuclear facilities. Regardless, while policy experts debate possible responses to Iran, it is clear that a covert war is already under way to destroy–and defend–Iran’s nuclear program before it crosses the weapons threshold.