US Authorities Identify the Perpetrators of Iran’s Hacking

According to US sources, Israel was responsible for October’s widespread hack on Iran’s gasoline grid. It heightened tensions between the two countries.

On October 26, a cyberattack hit the network used by motorists to buy gasoline with government-issued cards. Iran charged an unnamed “state actor” with trying to incite public anger.

The New York Times said the hack was traced to Israel, based on sensitive intelligence evaluations. The national oil ministry thought hackers breached the government’s computers after the gasoline network attack.

According to the NYT, this may have allowed them to obtain data showing how Iran circumvents international sanctions.

Shortly after the strike on Iran, an intelligence campaign against an Israeli healthcare facility and a dating site began; Tel Aviv city officials allege this was carried out by agents of Iran.

Yoram Hacohen, the chairman of Israel’s Internet Union, called the hack on Israel one of the most significant attacks on data the country has ever seen. Data obtained from Israeli individuals was later published on Telegram by a group Tel Aviv officials claim works for, or is affiliated with, the Iranian government.

The assaults are considered the first to directly target people, rather than military or government targets, escalating the tension between the two nations. Iran and Israel have not openly acknowledged culpability.

Remove Sanctions or No Nuclear Agreement, Iran Says

Iran cautioned that reviving the 2015 nuclear deal will require lifting all sanctions against it, as talks in Vienna begin. 

On Monday, France, China, Russia, Germany, and UK officials met in Vienna to explore restoring the 2015 nuclear agreement dropped by the Trump administration in 2018.

Before the discussions, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian outlined the conditions for reviving the deal Washington unexpectedly abandoned three years ago.

Returning the US to the nuclear agreement would be futile without assurances the past will not repeat itself. Amir-Abdollahian stated the unlawful and arbitrary sanctions against Iran were maintained, despite a new US administration.

He emphasized Iran was behaving honestly. He also challenged President Biden’s administration’s “true determination” to fulfill its duties and “give up past disastrous practices.”

Last Chance for Iran to Commit

The US ambassador, Robert Malley, already chastised Iran for trying to gain greater influence and then demanding better terms during discussions, warning their strategy will fail.

Malley told Tehran if the negotiations fail, the US will step up efforts to prevent further nuclear activities. Since 2018, Iran has refined uranium above the JCPOA’s limitations.

Mikhail Ulyanov, Russia’s permanent envoy at the talks, said he is “carefully hopeful” an agreement will be achieved, but noted Moscow is completely aware of all the troubles negotiators face.

This session of negotiations is the “last chance” for Iran to commit to a nuclear agreement, said UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss. Truss said the UK is determined to work tirelessly to stop the Iranian government from acquiring nuclear weapons.