Iran Says Sweeping Cyberattack Took Down Gas Stations Across Country

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Iran Says Sweeping Cyberattack Took Down Gas Stations Across Country | NBC News  

Iran's president on Wednesday confirmed that a sweeping cyberattack had disrupted gas stations across the country, blaming the action on “people angry by creating disorder and disruption.” Long lines continued to form outside stations following the takedown, which disabled government-issued cards that many rely on to buy subsidized fuel. President Ebrahim Raisi said the incident showed the need for "readiness in the field of cyberwar." The Iranian leader, who took office in August, did not blame any group or country in particular for the attack. However, his comments suggested that he believed anti-Iranian forces may have been behind the incident. 

Iran’s Role In Attack On U.S. Troops In Syria Signals New Escalation | The Washington Post 

Iran appears to have been responsible for a drone attack last week on a U.S. outpost in Syria, suggesting that a new front could be opening in the low-level conflict that has simmered since the United States pulled out of the Iran nuclear accord in 2018. No U.S. casualties were reported in the attack on the isolated U.S. outpost at Tanf near the Jordanian and Iraqi borders, according to the U.S. military. But pro-Iranian media trumpeted it as a “victory”; it would be the first major attack on U.S. troops in Syria by Iran. 

White House: There Is Still An Opportunity To Resolve Iran Issue Diplomatically | Reuters 

The United States is alarmed by Iran's actions since leaving talks over its nuclear program, but the White House still believes there is an opportunity to resolve the situation diplomatically, U.S. national security adviser Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday. "We are alarmed and concerned by the steps that they have taken since they left the joint comprehensive plan of action," Sullivan said of the Iranian government. "Our first and highest priority is to get back to the table." U.S. President Joe Biden plans to coordinate with European partners to have a "united front" on Iran policy, after four years of "division" under former president Donald Trump, Sullivan said.

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SANCTIONS, BUSINESS RISKS, & OTHER ECONOMIC NEWS  

Another Iranian Condensate Cargo To Begin Unloading In Venezuela -Document | Reuters 

A 2.1 million-barrel cargo of Iranian condensate, the most recent delivery from a swap pact between the Middle Eastern nation and Venezuela, is expected to begin discharging on Wednesday at a PDVSA port, a document from the state-run firm showed. The U.S.-sanctioned state oil companies from both countries, PDVSA and National Iranian Oil Company (NIOC), last month agreed to a contract, in effect for six months in its first phase, to exchange Iranian condensate for Venezuelan heavy crude. The first cargo belonging to the swap set sail from Venezuela in September on the Iranian tanker Felicity.

PROTESTS & HUMAN RIGHTS 

American-Iranian Man Detained In Iran Undergoes Surgery | Associated Press

An 84-year-old Iranian-American man who has been detained in Iran for more than five years underwent surgery on Tuesday to clear a blockage in an artery to the brain that his family and supporters have described as life-threatening. The surgery on Baquer Namazi “appears to have been a success and Baquer is awake, although he remains groggy,” according to a statement from Namazi’s attorney, Jared Genser. He is expected to remain in the intensive care unit for two more days and then be transferred to a general recovery ward before being released. 

U.S.-IRAN RELATIONS & NEGOTIATIONS 

US Seeking ‘United Front’ With Europe On Iran: Top Biden Aide | Al Jazeera 

United States President Joe Biden will seek a “united front” with Europe on Iran policy as he travels across the Atlantic to attend two major summits in Rome and Glasgow later this week, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has said. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday about Biden’s upcoming trip, Sullivan said Biden will hold talks on Iran with partners from the E3, referring to the United Kingdom, France and Germany, the three European signatories to the Iran nuclear deal. 

RUSSIA, SYRIA, ISRAEL, HEZBOLLAH, LEBANON & IRAN 

Iranian Firm To Rehabilitate Power Station In War-Torn Syria | Associated Press 

Syria’s electricity ministry signed a $115 million contract Tuesday with an Iranian company to rehabilitate a power station in a central province of the war-torn country, state media reported. Under the agreement involving the two allies — who are both under U.S. sanctions — the Iranian company Peymanir will rehabilitate the Mhardeh power station in Hama province. Syria’s electricity sector was hard hit by the country’s 10-year conflict that killed hundreds of thousands of people and destroyed large parts of the country. 

Could The Iran Drone Attack On US In Syria Be Message To Israel? – Analysis | The Jerusalem Post 

Iran conducted a complex and coordinated attack on US forces in Syria last week. It used up to five armed drones to strike at the Tanf garrison, a lonely US outpost in Syria near the Jordanian and Iraqi border. The assessment by the US is that Iran was behind this attack. It is the latest of numerous drone attacks on American forces in the region this year. Iranian-backed groups in Iraq have used drones to target US forces at Erbil’s airport and other locations. The attacks are also part of the rising Iranian drone threat across the region.

Israel, UAE Send Signal To Iran During Israeli Air Force Drill | Al Monitor 

The Israeli air force (IAF) conducted its fifth Blue Flag drill this month, with for the first time the participation of squadrons and fighter pilots from the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Greece, France and India. In another first, the chief of the Emirate air force, Vice Marshal Ibrahim Nasser Mohammed al-Alawi, arrived in Israel to observe the exercise, joining the heads of air force commanders from 10 other countries. Alawi was received by his Israeli counterpart, Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin, at the Palmachim air force base in central Israel, where they reviewed an honor guard. 

IRAQ & IRAN 

Iraq Blames Iran For Drastic Decline In River Flow | Arab News 

Iraqi officials warned Tuesday of a drastic drop in the flow of water in a river from Iran due to low rainfall and dam-building in the neighboring Islamic republic. The Sirwan river begins in Iran, flowing to Darbandikhan Dam in northeastern Iraq before going through the rural province of Diyala and joining the Tigris. “There has been an unprecedented decline,” said Rahman Khani, the dam’s director. “The water level has fallen by 7.5 meters in one year.”

AFGHANISTAN & IRAN 

Iran Wanted U.S. Out of Afghanistan. It May Be Sorry the Wish Came True. | The New York Times 

For 20 years, Iranian officials have said they wanted the U.S. military out of Afghanistan. Iran supplied Afghan insurgents with weapons to use against American soldiers. It sheltered Al Qaeda’s top leaders in Tehran. It courted the Taliban with diplomatic visits, covertly and then publicly. But when the United States finally left Afghanistan in August, the swift Taliban takeover caught Iran off guard. Suddenly, Iran, a Shiite Muslim theocracy, had a militant Sunni theocracy on its border that is widely seen as anti-Shiite. 

Iran To Push For Inclusive Afghan Government At Tehran Conference | Al Monitor

Iran will host Afghanistan’s neighbors for a conference on Wednesday. The foreign ministers of Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan will attend the meeting in the capital Tehran. China’s foreign minister will attend virtually. Iran also invited Russia to participate in the conference, despite the country not having a border with Afghanistan, and the Russians will likewise attend virtually. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will deliver the opening remarks, the official Islamic Republic News Agency reported.

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