While the recent nuclear deal with Iran has strengthened the Islamic Republic economically and leaves much concern about its standing in the Middle East and the world, the United States worried that if the talks failed, Iran would act out. The Times of Israel reports that the U.S. had a plan in place to target Iran's military with cyber attacks in the event that the agreement was not made:
While negotiating with Iran, the US reportedly formulated a comprehensive plan to target major Iranian military facilities with cyber-attacks. Washington was preparing for the possibility that the talks, aimed at curbing Tehran’s renegade nuclear program, would fail and Iran would lash out at America or its regional allies, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Code-named Nitro Zeus, the plan would target Iran’s air defenses, communications systems and parts of its power grid, the report said, citing the upcoming documentary film “Zero Days,” as well as interviews with military and intelligence officials. The plan reportedly involved thousands of military and intelligence personnel, with the US prepared to spend millions of dollars and install electronic spying devices in Iranian computer networks.
Devised by the Pentagon, the plan was put in place to assure President Barack Obama that should Iran move against the US or regional allies in the event of a breakdown in the nuclear talks, Washington would have a sophisticated alternative to full-scale war.