Iranian military officials have endorsed an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on the United States, a newly translated Iranian military textbook shows.
Such an attack could knock out the electrical grid and create a nationwide blackout, perhaps for months or even up to a year.
“Iranian military documents describe such a scenario — including a recently translated Iranian military textbook that endorses nuclear EMP attack against the United States,” Peter Vincent Pry wrote in a March 2015 op-ed for Israel National News.
The fear is that Iran will deploy a nuclear missile high in the atmosphere above the U.S., creating an explosion known as an electromagnetic pulse. Such an attack could take down the grid and also destroy computers and other electronic devices.
“One nuclear warhead detonated at high-altitude over the United States would blackout the national electric grid and other life sustaining critical infrastructures for months or years by means of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP),” Pry wrote. “A nationwide blackout lasting one year, according to the Congressional EMP Commission, could cause chaos and starvation that leaves 90 percent of Americans dead.”
The grid could be down for such a lengthy time because it contains custom-made parts that have no ready replacements. Without electricity, America’s supply chain of food, medicine and all other good comes to a sudden halt.
Pry formerly worked for the CIA and served on the EMP Commission, a group that advised Congress on EMP and its potential threat to the United States. In a Wall Street Journal op-ed last year, Pry and former CIA Director R. James Woolsey warned that Russia, China, Iran and North Korea were all developing EMP weapons that could be used against the United States.
“Thus, Iran with a small number of nuclear missiles can by EMP attack threaten the existence of modernity and be the death knell for Western principles of international law, humanism and freedom,” Pry wrote in Israel National News. “For the first time in history, a failed state like Iran could destroy the most successful societies on Earth and convert an evolving benign world order into world chaos.”
US Government Is Concerned
The US government is so worried about Iran’s nuclear program that it may have helped carry out an unprecedented digital attack designed to destroy the infrastructure at Iranian nuclear weapons factories in 2010, although Israel also may have been the source.
The “Stuxnet” virus infected computers that control centrifuges, devices that enrich uranium, Wired magazine senior writer Kim Zetter said. Stuxnet caused the centrifuges to fail and the Iranian nuclear weapons program to grind to a halt. Zetter made the claim in the 2014 book, Countdown to Zero Day: Stuxnet and the Launch of the World’s First Digital Weapon.
Both President Obama himself and his predecessor, President George W. Bush, approved of the Stuxnet attacks, Zetter alleged. The Israeli government also supposedly participated in the Stuxnet attack.
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