I have an op-ed on Iran in The Register Citizen today.
Here are a few excerpts:
Last year, a powerful computer virus called “Stuxnet” targeted Iran’s nuclear program. By the time it was discovered, the virus had succeeded in setting back the country’s nuclear progress. Now, Iran claims to have identified a new threat. The virus, which Iran is calling “Stars,” may or may not be authentic. But no matter the outcome, Iran’s announcement could be good for the United States.
Iranian leaders have called the Arab Spring an “Islamic awakening,” but the protest movements have been largely secular, calling for democracy and human rights — two issues on which Iran does not have a stellar reputation.
Beyond that, the protests have taken a turn for the worse, as far as Iran is concerned, threatening to unseat one of its greatest allies in the region, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Iran’s connection with Syria is crucial to its relationship with Hezbollah and, moreover, its ability to project power in the Middle East.
Ultimately, Iran looks to be losing ground, and its announcement of the Stars virus is one more problem on a growing list. Either Iran has shown its susceptibility to another damaging virus with the potential to set back its nuclear program yet again, or its announcement is an attempt to draw attention away from those issues it sees as far more damaging.