Last week President Trump officially re-implemented harsh sanctions on Iran, further squeezing an already faltering regime.
"Today, the United States is taking action to reimpose nuclear-related sanctions with respect to Iran that were lifted in connection with the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action of July 14, 2015 (the “JCPOA”). These actions include reimposing sanctions on Iran’s automotive sector and on its trade in gold and precious metals, as well as sanctions related to the Iranian rial. These measures will take effect on August 7, 2018," Trump said in a statement at the time. "All remaining United States nuclear-related sanctions will resume effective November 5, 2018. These include sanctions targeting Iran’s energy sector, including petroleum-related transactions, as well as transactions by foreign financial institutions with the Central Bank of Iran."
Now, Iran is reportedly preparing to retaliate against the U.S. with a cyber attack. From the AP:
The U.S. is bracing for cyberattacks Iran could launch in retaliation for the re-imposition of sanctions this week by President Donald Trump, cybersecurity and intelligence experts say.
Concern over that cyber threat has been rising since May, when Trump pulled out of the 2015 nuclear deal, under which the U.S. and other world powers eased economic sanctions in exchange for curbs on Iran’s nuclear program. The experts say the threat would intensify following Washington’s move Tuesday to re-impose economic restrictions on Tehran.
U.S. intelligence agencies have singled out Iran as one of the main foreign cyber threats facing America, along with Russia, China and North Korea. A wave of attacks that U.S. authorities blamed on Iran between 2012 and 2014 targeted banks and caused tens of millions of dollars in damage. They also targeted but failed to penetrate critical infrastructure.
The most recent sanctions were implemented as a result of leaving the Iran nuclear agreement and bolster U.S. government efforts to change Iran behavior in the region.