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    Who’s the Real ‘Aggressor in Cyberspace’? US Hypocrisy in Iran Hacker Case

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    The indictment of 7 Iranian hackers by the Justice Department for cyber attacks on American banks and a New York dam laid bare tensions in the US establishment, in which some actors are trying to undermine Iran’s nuclear deal, political analyst Eric Draitser told Sputnik’s Brian Becker.

    In this photo released by an official website of the office of the Iranian Supreme Leader, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers speech during a meeting with air force commanders and officers in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015
    © AP Photo / Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader
    The case has nothing to do with real security issues, as “countries all over the world got wise to the world that one new element of warfare is cybersecurity warfare,” Draitser told Loud & Clear. “Russia, the US, France, Germany – everybody is engaging in advancing their cyber defence, advancing their cyber defence capabilities,” he added.

    Painting Iran as “an aggressor in cyberspace” with teams of hackers that are “constantly trying to penetrate the US cybersecurity,” Washington showcases its own hypocrisy, Draitser said, as it was Americans who first attacked Iran in this cyberspace war.

    Between 2011 and 2012, the US — in cooperation with Israel, its closest ally “in the area of cyber warfare” — released the program considered to be “the first example of the cyber weapon,” the analyst stressed. This malware, including such viruses as Gauss, Flame and Stuxnet, were supposed to infiltrate and infect computers inside Iran and to disrupt their nuclear energy program.

    “That was the first time in recorded history that we’ve seen the use of such a weapon,” Draitser said. “What that demonstrated was the potential that the US and its Israeli allies have to infiltrate the highest levels of secured computer systems inside of Iran and, frankly, inside of any country they might want to target.”

    In this picture released by the official website of the office of the Iranian supreme leader, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei delivers a speech during a meeting in Tehran, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015
    © AP Photo / Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP
    The US and Israel are “on the cutting edge, on the leading edge of the use of cyber warfare when it comes to use of such weapons,” the analyst added.

    Draitser suggested that the US might be using the indictment on a broader political and geopolitical level. On the one hand, the Obama Administration is working to “mend fences” with Iran by maintaining the terms of the nuclear deal, while on the other it tries to present Iran as an aggressor.

    “The real issue here has to do with a broader question of how the US is acting towards Iran in the wake of very important momentum of the nuclear deal,” he assessed. “The timing is suggesting coordinating from certain elements in the US seeking to demonize Iran in order to undermine that deal.”

    Some leaders in the establishment might be fighting to reconsider the deal in the post-Obama times to reset relations with Iran to their liking, he added.

    “It’s not the specifics of this case but rather how it will be used, how it will be translated into political currency, particularly for Hillary Clinton, neocons, Donald Trump – all of them who will use it as a weapon, not only against the Obama administration, but in order to prop up their own anti-Iranian narratives.”

    The charges also highlight that Obama is likely at odds with some of his generals, some of the leadership in state intelligence.

    “What this story is actually indicating is a number of interrelating conflicts inside the US political establishment, and also at broader political geopolitical and military strategic levels,” he said, pointing to frictions between Obama and his inner circle, incited by the Syrian conflict in 2013.

    The US may also be using the case as a “Trojan horse,” to divide Iran along political and business lines.

    “The US intends to drive a wedge between the political leadership in Iran and the economic interests that a lot of the private industrial firms and private investors inside of Iran, some of the wealthy elites… many of whom have vested interests in opening up Iranian economy for the EU,” Draitser said.

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    Tags:
    cyberattack, security, dam, Iran nuclear deal, New York, United States, Iran
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