Iran likely to retaliate with cyberattacks after nuclear deal collapse


Iran is likely to respond with cyberattacks against Western businesses in response to the Trump administration's withdrawal from the nuclear deal, cybersecurity experts say. Research out Wednesday suggests attacks could come "within months, if not faster," according to security firm Recorded Future. The research paints a detailed picture of how Iran uses contractors and universities to staff its offensive cybersecurity operations -- or hacking efforts -- against foreign targets. A former insider with knowledge of Iran's hacking operations said the attacks are likely to be launched by contractors and thus pose a greater risk of spinning out of control. On Tuesday, President Donald Trump announced the US would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, a pact of Western nations that pledged to lift economic sanctions against Iran in exchange for limiting its nuclear program.

Bomb-laden drones of Yemen's Houthi rebels seen threatening Arabian Peninsula

The Japan Times

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - A Yemen rebel drone strike this week on a critical Saudi oil pipeline shows that the otherwise-peaceful sandy reaches of the Arabian Peninsula now are at risk of similar assault, including an under-construction nuclear power plant and Dubai International Airport, among the world's busiest. U.N. investigators said the Houthis' new UAV-X drone, found in recent months during the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen, likely has a range of up to 1,500 km (930 miles). That puts the far reaches of both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the two main opponents of the Iranian-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen, within reach of drones difficult to detect and track. Their relatively simple design, coupled with readily available information online, makes targeting even easier, analysts say. "These installations are easily findable, like on Google Earth," said Tim Michetti, an expert on illicit weapons technology with experience in Yemen.

Group that promoted Iran nuclear deal also funded media reports

The Japan Times

WASHINGTON – A group that the White House recently identified as a key surrogate in promoting the Iran nuclear deal gave National Public Radio 100,000 last year to help it report on the pact and related issues, according to the group's annual report. It also funded reporters and partnerships with other news outlets. The Ploughshares Fund's mission is to "build a safe, secure world by developing and investing in initiatives to reduce and ultimately eliminate the world's nuclear stockpiles," one that dovetails with President Barack Obama's arms control efforts. But its behind-the-scenes role advocating for the Iran agreement got more attention this month following a candid profile of Ben Rhodes, one of the president's top foreign policy aides, in The New York Times Magazine. In the article, Rhodes explained how the administration worked with nongovernmental organizations, proliferation experts and reporters to build support for the seven-nation accord, which curtailed Iran's nuclear activity and softened international financial penalties on Tehran.

Nuclear Scientists Urge Congress to Protect Iran Deal

NYT > Middle East

More than 90 top American experts in atomic sciences, including a designer of the hydrogen bomb, publicly threw their weight behind the Iran nuclear agreement on Monday, exhorting Congress to preserve the accord in the face of President Trump's disavowal of it. In a letter to Senate and House leaders of both parties that emphasized the "momentous responsibilities" Congress bears regarding the agreement, the scientists asserted that the accord was effective in blocking Iran's pathways to a nuclear weapon. "Congress should act to ensure that the United States remains a party to the agreement," read the letter, signed by what amounted to a who's who of prominent physicists and other luminaries in American science. The letter said the signers were offering their perspective "as scientists who understand the physics and technology of nuclear power, of nuclear explosives, and of long-range missiles; and who collectively bring their experience with nuclear nonproliferation." They included Richard L. Garwin, a 2016 Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient and nonproliferation advocate, whose work at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in the early 1950s gave birth to the hydrogen bomb; all three winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics; and Siegfried S. Hecker, a former director of Los Alamos who is internationally regarded as an authority on nuclear security threats.

News Daily: Iran nuclear deal and child mental health care criticised

BBC News

We are in an unprecedented situation with potentially dangerous consequences. That's the view of the BBC's diplomatic correspondent, Jonathan Marcus, after Donald Trump withdrew the US from the Iran nuclear deal, calling it "decaying and rotten". Just how dangerous depends on how Tehran reacts and whether the moderates in that country can win out, Jonathan adds, pointing out that even those who agree with Mr Trump are wondering where is the Plan B? How is Iran now to be contained? Western powers say the deal - here are they key details of it - had made the world a safer place, curbing Tehran's efforts to acquire weapons in return for removing sanctions. The UK, France and Germany tried and failed to persuade Mr Trump to stick with it, but Theresa May, Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel say they remain committed to the deal.