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Iran: West Trying 'Psychological Warfare' to Stop Nuclear Activities

Iranian foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast during a press conference in Tehran (File Photo)

Iran's foreign ministry spokesman says reports that a sophisticated computer worm had infected the country's Bushehr power plant are part of "psychological warfare" from Western nations intent on stopping Iran's nuclear program.

Ramin Mehmanparast reiterated Tuesday that Iran would not give up its right to nuclear activities, which Iran says are for peaceful purposes. Western nations, however, accuse Iran of trying to develop nuclear weapons.

VOA's David Byrd speaks with technology writer Elinor Mills about the Stuxnet worm:

Iranian officials have said recently announced delays in the startup of the Bushehr nuclear facility are due to "technical reasons," not the so-called Stuxnet computer worm.

Last month, the head of the nuclear power plant said the malicious computer code had infected some of the personal computers of the plant's staff without affecting operations of the facility.

Iran's intelligence minister, Heidar Moslehi, announced last week that authorities arrested several suspected "nuclear spies."

He also said Iran's "enemies" designed and sent the electronic attack to undermine the country's nuclear activities.

Cyber security experts say the worm appears to be specifically designed to target industrial installations such as power plants.

The worm's origins are unclear, although some experts suspect it may be a state-sponsored program.

The worm also has been detected in systems in other parts of the world, including India and Indonesia. Experts say Iran was hit the hardest, experiencing approximately 60 percent of the attacks.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.