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article imageOp-Ed: Iran claims to have exposed CIA-run US cyber-espionage network

By Ken Hanly     Jun 18, 2019 in Technology
Iran claimed on Monday that it had exposed a large cyber espionage network that it alleges was run by the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and several US spies had been arrested in several countries as a result of the discovery.
US-Iran tension are growing
The US has accused Iran of attacking two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman last Thursday. The US has sent a carrier strike group and bombers to the area and announced plans to deploy 1,500 troops to the Middle East. After the tanker attacks the US is sending another 1,000 troops as a recent Guardian article notes: "The US is sending an additional 1,000 troops to the Middle East in response to “hostile behavior by Iranian forces and their proxy groups”, Patrick Shanahan, the acting defence secretary, announced on Monday." This is a recipe for more conflict. No doubt hawks within the Trump administration such as Bolton are hoping for a war with Iran after more clashes. Iran denies having any role in the tanker attacks. Some analysts doubt US claims of Iran's responsibility for the tanker attacks and others even see them as false flag attacks meant to provoke an attack on Iran.
Last year Trump withdrew the United States from a 2015 international nuclear deal with Iran. Trump is also ratcheting up sanctions seeking to end Iran’s international sales of crude oil and strangle its economy. The US is also trying to bully other countries into following US sanctions against Iran.
Iran uncovers CIA cyber espionage network
Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council said: “One of the most complicated CIA cyber espionage networks that had an important role in the CIA’s operations in different countries was exposed by the Iranian intelligence agencies a while ago and was dismantled. We shared the information about the exposed network with our allies that led to the identification and arrest of CIA intelligence agents.” Shamkhani did not specifiy how many CIA agents were arrested nor in what countries. He also claimed that some information about events had been released by the US so it is was fitting that Iran publish information to make the public aware of what had happened.
This is not the first time US has launched cyber attacks on Iran
As an Ars Technica article from February of 2016 reported more than just the Stuxnet attack on Iran's centrifuges was planned: "The Stuxnet computer worm that destroyed centrifuges inside Iran's Natanz uranium enrichment site was only one element of a much larger US-prepared cyberattack plan that targeted Iran's air defenses, communications systems, and key parts of its power grid, according to articles published Tuesday. The contingency plan, known internally as Nitro Zeus, was intended to be carried out in the event that diplomatic efforts to curb Iran's nuclear development program failed and the US was pulled into a war between Iran and Israel, according to an article published by The New York Times. At its height, planning for the program involved thousands of US military and intelligence personnel, tens of millions of dollars in expenditures, and the placing of electronic implants in Iranian computer networks to ensure the operation targeting critical infrastructure would work at a moment's notice."
As the New York Times noted recently the US has implanted malware in Russia's power grid. No doubt they have done the same in Iran.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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