The US reportedly had developed a plan for a cyberattack on Iran in case negotiations to deter Tehran’s nuclear program failed.
“The existence of Nitro Zeus was uncovered in the course of reporting for “Zero Days,” a documentary that will be first shown Wednesday at the Berlin Film Festival,” the Newyork Times news daily reported Tuesday.
The plan, code-named Nitro Zeus, was devised to disable Iran’s air defenses, communications systems and crucial 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 news daily reported.
The plan was devised after US 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.
The plan would involve military and intelligence personnel and hoped to plug electronic implants into Tehran’s computer networks in the wake of war.
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.
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.