US Planned Cyberattack on Iran if Talks to Limit Nuclear Program Failed

The United States reportedly had plans to launch a cyberattack on Iran if negotiations to limit Tehran’s nuclear program failed, US media reported citing an upcoming documentary film that interviews US military and intelligence officials involved in the scheme.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The Nitro Zeus plan was uncovered during the reporting of the documentary film "Zero Days," which is expected to be screened at the Berlin Film Festival on Wednesday.

"The plan, code named Nitro Zeus, was designed to disable Iran’s air defenses, communications systems and key parts of its power grid, and was shelved, at least for the foreseeable future, after the nuclear deal struck between Iran and six other nations last summer was fulfilled," The New York Times reported on Tuesday.

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The plan was reportedly thought of after President Barack Obama asked former US Central Command General John Allen to "develop a detailed military plan for Iran in case diplomacy failed," the report said.

Moreover, the plan, which cost Washington tens of millions of dollars and involved thousands of US military and intelligence personnel, hoped to put electronic implants into Tehran’s computer networks to "prepare the battlefield" for the Pentagon.

It assured Obama that he had alternatives, short of a full-scale war, "if Iran lashed out at the United States or its allies in the region," the report pointed out.

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As the plan was being prepared, the report added, US intelligence agencies started to outline a separate covert operation geared at disabling Tehran’s Fordo nuclear enrichment site, which the US president would be able to authorize even without any particular conflict.

In mid-January, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verified Tehran’s compliance with the nuclear agreement, which was reached in July 2015 between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, including the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom plus Germany.

The agreement guarantees the peaceful nature of Iran's nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

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