Iran News Agency Claims Israel, Saudi Arabia Making 'Stuxnet 2'
Iranian news agency Fars claimed Saturday that Israel and Saudi Arabia have teamed up to launch another virus, similar to the Stuxnet virus, against Iran's nuclear program.
The news agency, which has been associated with the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, claimed that an "informed source" told reporters that “Saudi spy chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and director of Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency Tamir Pardo sent their representatives to a meeting in Vienna on November 24 to increase the two sides' cooperation in intelligence and sabotage operations against Iran’s nuclear program.“
"One of the proposals raised in the meeting was the production of a malware worse than the Stuxnet (a comprehensive US-Israeli program designed to disrupt Iran's nuclear technology) to spy on and destroy the software structure of Iran’s nuclear program,” the source allegedly continued.
The source also claims that the project needed the round number of $1 million for funding - and that Saudis jumped at the chance to provide financial backing for the endeavor.
The Stuxnet virus, which was rumored to have been masterminded by Israeli and the US, wreaked havoc on Iranian nuclear centrifuges at the Natanz uranium enrichment facility in 2011. The Flame virus also surfaced in 2012 and disrupted computers in several Arab countries, including Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, and Sudan.
The unconfirmed report follows rumors swirling that Israel and Saudi Arabia have united to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, in view of Israel's failed efforts to dissuade the P5+1 from reaching an interim deal with the Islamic Republic last week.
That deal, which exchanges the lifting of sanctions for a scaling back of the nuclear program, has been shown by experts to be ineffective in stopping Iran's advance toward a nuclear bomb, only slowing it down by mere weeks.
Saudi officials were reportedly disappointed by the move, and told US President Barack Obama in a phone call to the White House that they will be seeking their own diplomatic solution.
While Saudi officials have denied the reports of contact between the two countries, the news also follows reports that President Shimon Peres spoke to several Arab foreign ministers last month - including a Saudi representative from the Royal Family.