US Should Not Delay Sanctions in Fear of Regime Cyber Warfare

ISICRC Report by Sophie Baron



It is said that the Khomeiniist regime may respond to the sanctions re-imposed last Monday by US President Donald Trump, with cyber attacks.

Priscilla Moriuchi, director of strategic threat development at Recorded Future, a global real-time cyber threat intelligence company, stated: “While we have no specific threats, we have seen an increase in chatter related to Iranian threat activity over the past several weeks.”

US intelligence agencies consider Tehran to be to a major cyber warfare threat, holding them responsible for a series of hacks on banks, costing many millions of dollars, and a number of thwarted infrastructure cyber attacks between 2012 and 2014.

Concerns have risen since a threat issues last month by General Qassem Soleymani, commander of the elite Qods Force of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, mentioning Iran’s capabilities in “asymmetric war”, which is believed to be a reference to cyber attacks.

While cyber attacks from Tehran have caused, and can do, great damage, one must bear in mind, however, that the reason the regime has resorted to this technique is because they cannot fight a conventional war. The regime’s armed forces are no match for the US, Israel, or Saudi Arabia, and hence they resort to terrorism or cyber warfare, allowing to cause maximum damage at minimum risk to themselves. Tehran is thus able to let the blame fall on, for example, Houthi rebels for missiles launched against Saudi Arabia, or lone hackers for damage to a US bank.

Thankfully, the US has learned much from previous cyber attacks, and is prepared for whatever Tehran will do. Americans should not fear them. They should take precautions against cyber attacks, and respond to them if they occur, but they should not remove the sanctions.

The US State Department has rightly declared the Tehran regime as the world’s leading state sponsor of terrorism, and that these sanctions will impede on its ability to cause more harm in Middle East. The US does not appease terrorists and they should not begin now.