The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris examine the reasons, and the many theories being debated, as to why US President Trump decided on a more measured and cautious response to the downing of an American Drone by Iran.
Iran successfully prevented US cyber-attacks that targeted its infrastructure, the country’s information minister said after Washington was reported to have crippled Tehran’s missile control sites with a retaliatory cyber-strike.
Minister for Information and Communication Technology Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi appeared to deny reports in the US media that a massive cyber-offensive had disabled Iranian computer systems that control rocket and missile launches on Thursday
Neither the Pentagon nor the White House commented on the reports, which claimed that the strike had been carried out by US Cyber Command in cooperation with US Central Command to avenge the downing of an unmanned US Navy drone, shot down by Iran on Thursday morning.
Stopping short of directly addressing rumors that the attack had taken place, Jahromi said that Iran has vast experience of thwarting these kind of assaults, having foiled some “33 million attacks with the [national] firewall, only within the last year.”
He specifically referred to Stuxnet, a computer worm jointly developed by the US and Israel, which was used to infiltrateIran’s nuclear facility networks in 2009-2010.
“They try hard, but have not carried out a successful attack”
The Washington Post reported earlier that the alleged cyber-strike had incapacitated Iran’s military command posts and control systems.
The Trump administration has been pursuing a hawkish cyber-strategy. Signed by Trump last September, the document rolled up many of the constraints that limited the usage of offensive cyber-operations in retaliation against foreign actors.
Unveiling the strategy, Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, who has been rallying behind a military option in Iran, announced that Washington’s “hands are not tied” anymore.
Meanwhile, Iran has exercised caution, warning that the US military should carefully assess the risks before going to war with Tehran. A senior Iranian general warned that if a conflict breaks out, “no country would be able to manage its scope and timing.”