Tensions are rising between Iran and the U.S., and President Trump isn’t showing any signs of backing down to the oppressive regime. During his recent State of the Union, President Trump referred to Iran as a “radical regime” who does “bad things.”
“My administration has acted decisively to confront the world’s leading state sponsor of terror: the radical regime in Iran,” Trump said Tuesday evening, delivering his address in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“They do bad, bad things. To ensure this corrupt dictatorship never acquires nuclear weapons, I withdrew the United States from the disastrous Iran nuclear deal,” he said, referring to the 2015 sanctions-relief-for-nuclear-rollback agreement negotiated under President Barack Obama. “And last fall, we put in place the toughest sanctions ever imposed by us on a country.
“We will not avert our eyes from a regime that chants death to America and threatens genocide against the Jewish people,” he continued, to applause, mostly from the Republican side. “We must never ignore the vile poison of anti-Semitism, or those who spread its venomous creed.”
Yesterday, CBS News reported from Tehran where hundred of thousands of Iranians were celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Islamic Revolution.
Speaking in the capital Tehran, President Hassan Rouhani told a huge crowd Iran didn’t need to ask the world’s permission to develop missiles, and it would continue to build up its military power despite U.S. sanctions.
Some of the people in the crowd were old enough to have actually participated in the revolution, but for the younger ones, the Islamic Republic that followed is the only country they’ve ever known. That means all they’ve ever known is a relationship with the U.S. that ranges from hostile, to downright toxic.
Now, according to the Free Beacon – Iran is being accused of committing cyber attacks on the U.S. and of recruiting a U.S. Air Force member to steal classified information from the U.S. government, including the identities of U.S. agents.
The Trump administration has announced a new package of sanctions on Iranian entities tied to the cyber backing of U.S. individuals, a move that comes on the heels of American authorities indicting a U.S. Air Force officer who allegedly tried to pass classified information to Tehran after defecting to the country.
The Department of Justice has announced early Wednesday that it had indicted Monica Elfriede Witt, also known as Fatemah Zahra, a former active duty U.S. Air Force Intelligence Specialist and Special Agent, for attempting to pass classified American information to Iran.
The disclosure of this information leak was timed to coincide with an announcement by the Treasury Department that it is sanctioning a handful of Iranian entities for their role in cyber hacks on Americans.
The sanctions hit an Iranian-based entity tied to the country’s Revolutionary Guards Corps, or IRGC. This includes “efforts to recruit and collect intelligence from foreign attendees [of various conferences], including U.S. persons, and four associated individuals,” according to the Treasury Department.
“Treasury is taking action against malicious Iranian cyber actors and covert operations that have targeted Americans at home and overseas as part of our ongoing efforts to counter the Iranian regime’s cyber attacks,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Treasury is sanctioning New Horizon Organization for its support to the IRGC-QF. ”