A former head of counterterrorism at the White House says Iran’s nuclear energy facilities are immune to any cyber attack, also warning against any military strike against the country as “apocalyptic. ”In an interview with the Times of Israel, Richard Clarke - the top counterterrorism advisor to Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush - ruled out the efficacy of a cyber means to stop Iran’s nuclear activities, especially after the failure of the US - and Israeli - developed Stuxnet computer virus against Iran’s nuclear energy program.
“Well, I think we’ve kind of tried that. And by trying Stuxnet when we did and being discovered, I think it’s going to be very difficult to do something like that again. The Iranians are now much more careful, much more observant, ” said Clarke.On June 1,2012,The New York Times revealed that Stuxnet was part of a wave of sophisticated digital attacks codenamed “Olympic Games,” which US President Barack Obama had ordered against the computer systems that run Iran’s main nuclear enrichment facilities. The paper also confirmed that the Stuxnet virus was created with the help of a secret Israeli intelligence unit. Iranian experts, however, detected the worm in time, averting any damage to the country's industrial sites and resources. Clarke also warned against the “apocalyptic” consequences of a military intervention in Iran, saying that any such measure would involve not only Israel but also the United States. “I think the Iranian government won’t take it lying down,” Clarke said, adding, “And that could be very, very messy. It could have worldwide economic effects. And I don’t know how it ends.” Washington and Tel Aviv have repeatedly threatened Tehran with a military strike to force it to halt its nuclear energy program, accusing Tehran of pursuing military objectives in its nuclear activities. Tehran, however, refutes such allegations as “baseless” and maintains that as a signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty and a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency it has every right to develop and acquire nuclear technology for peaceful purposes. Iranian officials have also promised a crushing response to any military strike against the country, warning that any such measure could result in a war that would spread beyond the Middle East.