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Israel tested Stuxnet worm in joint effort with US to thwart Iran, says report

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“To check out the worm, you have to know the machines,” the Times quoted an American expert on nuclear intelligence as saying. “The reason the worm has been effective is that the Israelis tried it out.”

On the eve of his retirement Meir Dagan, head of the Mossad, the Israeli intelligence agency, gave a summary to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee saying that Iran was far from developing the ability to produce nuclear weapons after a string of failures set its nuclear ambitions back by several years, the Israeli newspaper Haartez reported earlier this month.

“Dagan concluded his term saying Iran was still far from being capable of producing nuclear weapons and that a series of malfunctions had put off its nuclear goal for several years. Therefore, he said, Iran will not get hold of the bomb before 2015 approximately,” said the Haartez report.

The destruction caused by the Stuxnet worm makes military action against Iran less likely, according to several analysts.

In January 2009, The New York Times reported that in an apparent effort to avert such military action, President George W. Bush authorized a covert program to undermine the electrical and computer systems around Natanz.

"President Bush deflected a secret request by Israel last year [2008] for specialized bunker-busting bombs it wanted for an attack on Iran’s main nuclear complex and told the Israelis that he had authorized new covert action intended to sabotage Iran’s suspected effort to develop nuclear weapons, according to senior American and foreign officials."

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