Iran's nuclear chief has remained defiant in response to mounting evidence that the Stuxnet worm has caused significant damage to the country's uranium enrichment programme.
Ali-Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organisation, told the Islamic Republic News Agency today that reports in the western media were well wide of the mark.
"Tell these media and press to congratulate themselves," he is reported to have said in a sarcastic reference to stories published yesterday.
However, Salehi gave no explanation of whether the uranium enrichment programme had been affected by other factors.
Olli Heinonen, a former senior UN nuclear weapons inspector, told Reuters yesterday that technical problems have plagued Iran's nuclear efforts at the Natanz enrichment plant.
The problems include the design of the centrifuges at the facility, which are not as strong as they should be, but could also be down to the Stuxnet worm, according to Heinonen.
Experts have described Stuxnet as one of the most significant and sophisticated hacking attempts ever perpetrated, and suspect that it could have been created and resourced only by a nation state.
The malware appears to have been designed specifically to affect normal operation of the industrial supervisory control and data acquisition systems found in uranium enrichment plants.
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