US Carried Out Cyber Strikes Against Iran in Wake of Saudi Aramco Attacks Blamed on Tehran
Two of Saudi Arabia’s largest oil plants were hit on 14 September, which Yemen’s Houthi rebels have taken responsibility for, forcing the national oil company to shut them down.
Reuters has cited anonymous US sources as claiming that Washington conducted a cyber operation against the Islamic Republic of Iran following attacks on Saudi Aramco facilities that were blamed on Tehran.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran’s ability to spread “propaganda”.
One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but did not provide further details.
The White House has not yet commented on this information.
In the early hours of 14 September, a drone attack targeted Saudi Aramco’s Abqaiq and Khurais oil processing facilities, forcing the national oil company to shut them down. This resulted in Saudi Arabia’s daily net oil output being cut in half, as the country suspended the production of 5.7 million barrels of crude oil per day.
Although Yemen’s Houthi movement has claimed responsibility for the attacks, the United States and Saudi Arabia have put the blame on Iran. Tehran has denied any involvement in the incident, and accused the US and its allies of switching from a policy of “maximum pressure” to one of “maximum deceit.”
Washington-Tehran relations soured after the US decided to unilaterally withdraw from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), or the Iran nuclear deal, reimposing sanctions against the country.
The situation in the region has grown increasingly volatile, with a number of attacks on commercial tankers in the Gulf of Oman and Strait of Hormuz, for which the United States and its allies have blamed Iran.
Tehran has denied all accusations of involvement in the attacks.