July 21, 2011
DEBKAfile’s intelligence sources report that the Stuxnet malworm which played havoc with Iran’s nuclear program for eleven months was not purged after all. Tehran never did overcome the disruptions caused by Stuxnet or restore its centrifuges to smooth and normal operation as was claimed. Indeed, Iran finally resorted to the only sure-fire cure, scrapping all the tainted machines and replacing them with new ones.
Iran provided confirmation of this Tuesday, July 19 in an announcement that improved and faster centrifuge models were being installed.
Iran would clearly not have undertaken the major and costly project of replacing all its 5,000-6,000 centrifuges with new ones if they were indeed functioning smoothly. The announcement was made by the Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman at a press briefing although no one present had raised the nuclear issue. He said: “The installation of new centrifuges with better quality and speed is ongoing… this is another confirmation of the Islamic republic’s successful strides in its nuclear activities.”
Britain and France immediately condemned the announcement. It proved, official spokesmen commented, that Iran plans to triple the amount of uranium it enriches in contravention of six UN Security Council Resolutions and defiance of ten International Atomic Energy Agency decisions in Vienna. The announcement also “confirmed suspicions that the Iranian nuclear program had no credible civilian application.”