The Treasury Department just added the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) to the other Iranian entities listed as Specially Designated National (other entities already covered include Quds Force and the National Police and their leaders). It sanctioned MOIS for a laundry list of reasons generally categorized as support for Syria’s human rights abuses, Iran’s own human rights abuses, and support for terrorism. Under the latter section, Treasury lists the following:
- MOIS provides financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to Hizballah, a terrorist organization designated under E.O. 13224. MOIS has participated in multiple joint projects with Hizballah in computer hacking.
- MOIS provides financial, material, or technological support for, or financial or other services to HAMAS, a terrorist group also designated under E.O. 13224.
- MOIS has facilitated the movement of al Qa’ida operatives in Iran and provided them with documents, identification cards, and passports.
- MOIS also provided money and weapons to al Qa’ida in Iraq (AQI), a terrorist group designated under E.O. 13224, and negotiated prisoner releases of AQI operatives.
It is the official position of our government that Iran has facilitated the travel of al Qaeda operatives (this accusation may, in fact, date to pre-9/11 transiting of Iran on the same terms as others). And, not surprising, the government says Iran helped Hamas and Al Qaeda in Iraq.
But it’s the Hezbollah claim I’m most intrigued by. Treasury says that Iran’s intelligence service “participated in multiple joint projects with Hizballah in computer hacking.”
Hacking? We’re declaring hacking a terrorist act now? Like the StuxNet project we engaged in with Israel.
And what, precisely, is Iran alleged to have hacked? Because the most public allegations pertain to … drones. You know, the drones violating Iran and Lebanon’s airspace?
We’ve made that a terrorist act now?