Iran’s representative at the International Atomic Energy Agency says the Stuxnet computer worm that infects industrial software is not a concern to his country’s nuclear industry.
"Stuxnet has had no effect whatsoever on Iran’s nuclear activities," Ali Asghar Soltanieh told reporters at Khajeh Nasir Toosi University, according to Fars news agency. "I daresay that the IAEA’s reports regarding Iran’s nuclear activities and its installations and centrifuges all attest to the continuation of these activities without any problems."
Last July, published reports said Stuxnet had infected Iran’s industrial computer systems and nuclear facilities.
Computer experts maintained that in addition to espionage, the Stuxnet worm was capable of triggering explosions in nuclear installations.
The New York Times published a report last December describing Stuxnet as a joint U.S.-Israeli project that was tested in Israel’s Dimona nuclear facilities for the precise purpose of sabotaging Iran’s nuclear activities.
Folowing news of a Stuxnet infection at Iran’s new Bushehr nuclear plant, Russian nuclear experts warned of a potential disaster similar to the one in Chernobyl.
So far, the Bushehr Nucelar Power Plant has delayed the start-up of power production.
Soltaneih went on to add that the IAEA does not need to inspect the TABA plant that manufactures centrifuges."Production of parts is not included in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, so that inspection of the manufacturers of centrifuge parts is not obligatory."
The dissident group People’s Mojahedin Organization reported on Thursday that the TABA plant near Tehran produces centrifuges that are used for uranium enrichment.
Iran’s foreign minister, Ali Akabar Salehi, said on Saturday that Iran manufactures centrifuges and its parts in various parts of the country, and the TABA factory is no secret.
Regarding talks with the G5+1, Iran’s representative to the IAEA added that Iran is "always ready to continue nuclear talks without pre-conditions."
Iran last held nuclear talks with the G5+1 in Turkey last February after which Catherine Ashton, head of EU foreign policy announced her disappointment regarding the outcome of the negotiations.
The West contends that Iran is turning its nuclear program toward military objectives, but Iran has repeatedly denied the charge and insists that all of its nuclear activities are for peaceful purposes.