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Iran: Weaker than a Worm - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Despite all Iran’s propaganda issued promoting the idea that it is the ‘superpower’ of the Middle East, a power capable of confronting America, according to the Iranian President, Tehran today is at the mercy of the ‘Stuxnet’ electronic virus. This is similar to a ‘worm’ virus, because it transfers from one computer to another, multiplying during the transmission. The virus is concentrated in Iran, where it is believed to be targeting industrial and nuclear facilities.

There are those who are convinced that another state is behind this virus targeting Iran, for its quality and quantity could not have been produced by an individual or an amateur. Some believe it is in fact the work of a country that wants to paralyze the work of Iran’s energy systems, and disable its nuclear program. Here it is worth mentioning that Washington had previously considered initiating ‘electronic warfare’ against the regime of Saddam Hussein, before it launched its first rocket, to ensure that Iraqi defense systems were crippled, and to prevent resistance. However, there was a reluctance to do so, because although the viruses may have succeeded in paralyzing the Iraqi regime, no one would know the full extent of their consequences. Therefore, the idea was shelved, but it is certain that experts have been working since then to develop the idea of electronic warfare.

Today it is highly significant that a virus, resembling a ‘worm’, has managed to destabilize Iran. This has occurred despite all the Iranian statements, such as the infamous ‘missile’ propaganda, and other images of misinformation which have been broadcast by Tehran every day. This shows the real difference in the capabilities of military power between Iran and the West, specifically America. However, one fact remains that we must acknowledge, namely that Iran’s power does not lie in defense or attack, but rather in subversion.

When Ahmadinejad says that Iran is the second strongest force bar America in the region [the Middle East], he is absolutely right, because the Iranian regime has a great capacity to sabotage and subvert. To fully understand this, we must recall the famous wisdom of [George] Bernard Shaw, in his play ‘Man and Superman’, where he says: “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man”. The unreasonable man here is Iran.

If we look at our region and its issues, we find that all the elements of subversion are in the hands of Iran. Regarding the [Israeli-Palestinian] peace issue for example, Iran effectively controls Gaza through Hamas. Furthermore, it ensures that the Hezbollah front continuously confronts Israel, thus preventing the transformation of Lebanon into a stable state, a state of law and peaceful coexistence. If we went to Iraq, we would see evidence what Iran is doing on the ground there. It is consolidating the Iraqi sectarian divide, and the simplest example of this is its disruption of the formation of the next Iraqi government. Moreover, consider the amount of Iranian intervention in Yemen, via the Huthis, or its attempt to destabilize the Gulf region by awakening a sense of sectarianism, and funding and laying sleeper cells [within Gulf states], affiliated to Tehran.

All of this proves that Iran has enormous power to subvert, and this one of the leading causes of Arab weakness and incapability, but that is another story. However, the story we hear of today about the ‘Stuxnet’ virus proves that the Islamic Republic of Iran is actually weaker than a ‘worm’, and that its strength lies only in subversion!

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed

Tariq Alhomayed is the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat. Mr. Alhomyed has been a guest analyst and commentator on numerous news and current affair programs, and during his distinguished career has held numerous positions at Asharq Al-Awsat, amongst other newspapers. Notably, he was the first journalist to interview Osama Bin Ladin's mother. Mr. Alhomayed holds a bachelor's degree in media studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah. He is based in London.

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