Washington, Jan 19 (ANI): US secret diplomatic cables released by the whistleblower website 'Wikileaks' have revealed that an influential German thinktank had advised the US to adopt a policy of "covert sabotage" of Iran's nuclear facilities, including computer hacking and "unexplained explosions".
The Guardian quoted Volker Perthes, Director of Germany's government-funded Institute for Security and International Affairs, as telling US officials in Berlin that carrying out undercover operations would be "more effective than a military strike" to dismantle Iran's nuclear ambitions.
A diplomatic cable sent by the US ambassador to Germany, Philip Murphy, in January 2010, records that Perthes said a policy of "covert sabotage (unexplained explosions, accidents, computer hacking etc) would be more effective than a military strike, whose effects in the region could be devastating".
Another cable dated December 14, 2009 showed the advice of Perthes, a leading western expert on Iran, was given much importance by politicians and officials, including Condoleezza Rice, the former US Secretary of State.
"The majority of the guests at the table distinctly deferred to Perthes for guidance on where the Iran issue might be headed or should be headed. This was striking amongst such a high ranking group of people operationally involved with the Iran issue," Murphy wrote.
The news of a sophisticated computer worm, Stuxnet, infiltrating the Natanz nuclear facility last year, thereby delaying Iran's programme by some months, had found place in international headlines. Recently, media has disclosed that tuxnet was a joint US-Israeli operation.
On Monday, Iran's top nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, had blamed the US for the cyber-attack that apparently shut down a fifth of Iran's nuclear centrifuges in November.
Earlier, a media report had claimed that the Stuxnet worm was tested at a secret Israeli bunker at Dimano, near the Negev desert. (ANI)