The United States was advised by a German think tank to use “covert sabotage” to disrupt Iran’s march toward nuclear weapons, a leaked U.S. diplomatic cable reveals.
The cable from the U.S. ambassador to Germany, Philip Murphy, sent in January 2010, said that Volker Perthes, director of Germany’s government-funded Institute for Security and International Affairs, advised U.S. officials to use methods such as computer hacking and unexplained accidents. Such actions, the cable said, “would be more effective than a military strike, whose effects in the region could be devastating.”
Leaked by WikiLeaks, the cable was published Tuesday in the British newspaper The Guardian. The name of the institute was blacked out in the cable.
The release of the cable comes just days after a New York Times expose said that the United States and Israel were responsible for the Stuxnet computer worm that reportedly set back Iran’s nuclear program by several months to several years. The virus, which was designed to destroy nuclear centrifuges at the Natanz nuclear reactor in Iran, reportedly was tested at Israel’s Dimona nuclear complex.
Perthes also advocated for a ban on conventional weapons sales to Iran, the cable said.