Iranian Regime Malign Activities During Negotiations With Iran and During JCPOA
October 17, 2019
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During the period of JCPOA negotiations, Iran continued to provide arms, financing, training, and the facilitation of Shia fighters to the Assad regime.
Between late 2011 and mid-2013, IRGC-linked entities conducted a coordinated distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) campaign against the U.S. financial sector, threatening the international global financial system. The DDoS campaign disabled bank websites, prevented customers from accessing their accounts online, and collectively cost the victims tens of millions of dollars in remediation costs as the banks worked to neutralize and mitigate the attacks.
In 2013, one of the Iranian hackers involved in the DDoS campaign also conducted an intrusion into the industrial control system of a U.S. dam just north of New York City.
In 2013, Iran further integrated the IRGC-QF into forces loyal to Assad.
On January 23, 2013, Yemeni authorities seized an Iranian dhow, the Jihan, off the coast of Yemen. The dhow was carrying sophisticated Chinese antiaircraft missiles, C-4 explosives, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and a number of other weapons and explosives. The shipment of lethal aid was likely headed to Houthi separatists in Northern Yemen.
On February 20, 2013, the Nigerian State Security Service (SSS) announced the December 2012 arrest of three Nigerian members of an Iranian terrorist cell. Two of the men, Abdullahi Mustapha Berende and Saheed Oluremi Adewumi, were officially charged on August 28, 2013. Nigerian authorities claim the cell was conducting surveillance on American and Israeli targets in Nigeria for a possible terrorist attack.
In April 2013, an Iranian traveling on a fake Israeli passport was arrested for conducting surveillance of the Israeli Embassy
In late April 2013, the Government of Bosnia declared two Iranian diplomats, Jadidi Sohrab and Hamzeh Dolab Ahmad, persona non grata after Israeli intelligence reported they were, in fact, members of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS). One of the two men had been spotted in India, Georgia and Thailand, all of which were sites of a simultaneous bombing campaign in February of 2012, according to Israeli intelligence. Both diplomats were subsequently expelled from Bosnia.
On September 1, 2013, an attack by Iranian proxies Kata’ib Hezballah (KH) and Asa’ib Ahl al-Haq (AAH) on Camp Ashraf in Iraq, led to the deaths of 50 members of the Mujahedeen-e Khalq, or MeK. Press reports claim members of the QF not only planned the attack, but also played a direct combat role in it. The QF, along with KH and AAH members, also abducted seven MeK members and smuggled them back to Iran, according to the press. The missing seven members haven’t been seen or heard from since the attack.
On December 29, 2013, the Bahraini Coast Guard interdicted a speedboat filled with weapons and explosives that was likely bound for Shia oppositionists in Bahrain, specifically the 14 February Youth Coalition (14 FYC). Bahraini authorities accused the QF of providing opposition militants with explosives training in order to carry out attacks in Bahrain. The interdiction led to the discovery of a two weapons and explosives cache sites in Bahrain, the dismantling of a car bomb, and the arrest of 15 Bahraini nationals.
Iran continued its terrorist-related activity during the period of JCPOA negotiations, including support for Lebanese Hizballah, Palestinian terrorist groups in Gaza, and various groups in Iraq and throughout the Middle East.
In 2014, Iran dramatically increased the arming and funding of Shia militant groups in Iraq, including the terrorist group Kata’ib Hezballah, and incorporated these groups into the Popular Mobilization Force, a militant organization separate from the Iraqi Government that today wields enormous influence and power outside the democratically elected government.
In 2015, the U.S. Navy recorded 22 incidents of IRGC Navy fast-attack small crafts engaging in “unsafe and unprofessional” harassment of U.S. naval vessels in international waters.
In January 2015, a senior Iranian diplomat was expelled for planning an attack near the Israeli Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay.
In March 2015, Iran began mass production of its Qadir cruise missile.
In April 2015, Iran dramatically increased its support to the Houthis in Yemen and attempted to send a large naval supply convoy to Yemen to support the Houthis.
In April 2015, IRGC Navy vessels fired shots across the bow of the Marshall Islands-flagged cargo ship Maersk Tigris near the Strait of Hormuz. The IRGC Navy then forced the vessel to dock at the Iranian port of Bandar Abbas. Iranian officials held the vessel for a week.
In August 2015, the Iranian military unveiled the Fateh-313, a solid-fuel missile with a reported range of up to 500 km.
In October 2015, Iran’s Defense Ministry announced the successful test of the Emad, a ballistic missile with a range of 1,700 km. A later report of a U.N. Panel of Experts determined that the Emad launch was a violation of U.N. resolution 1929.
In November 2015, Iran tested Ghadr-110, an improved version of the Shahab-3, with a range of about 1,900 km.
In 2015 in Syria, Iran more openly acknowledged the deaths of Iranian personnel, including several senior commanders, and increased Iranian troop levels, while continuing to claim publicly that Iranian forces had only deployed in an advisory role.
In 2015, the Government of Bahrain raided, interdicted, and rounded up numerous Iran-sponsored weapons caches, arms transfers, and militants. This included the Bahraini government’s September 2015 discovery of a bomb-making facility with 1.5 tons of high-grade explosives.
Iran continued to declare its vocal support for Palestinian terrorist groups and its hostility to Israel in 2015.
On January 6, 2016, Bahraini security officials dismantled a terrorist cell, linked to IRGC-QF, planning to carry out a series of bombings throughout the country.
On January 12, 2016, the IRGC Navy seized two U.S. Navy riverine command boats near Iran’s Farsi Island in the Persian Gulf and held the U.S. sailors for 15 hours, in contravention of their rights under the Geneva Convention.
In February 2016, Philippine authorities thwarted an Iranian plot to hijack a Saudi Arabian civilian aircraft.
In August 2016, Kuwaiti authorities intercepted and arrested 10 Iranian nationals attempting to enter Kuwaiti waters illegally.
The Assad regime’s relationship with Hizballah and Iran grew stronger in 2016 as the regime became more reliant on external actors to militarily fight the Syrian opposition.
In 2016, German authorities convicted an IRGC-QF operative for spying on the ex-head of a German-Israeli group and people close to him.
In November 2016, two Iranian operatives and their Kenyan driver, a local embassy employee, were arrested and charged with information collection in connection with a terrorist act after surveilling the Israeli embassy.
In 2016, the U.S. Navy recorded 36 incidents of IRGC Navy fast-attack small crafts engaging in “unsafe and unprofessional” harassment of U.S. naval vessels in international waters.
In October 2016, the Iranian-supported Houthi militants fired anti-ship cruise missiles at U.S. warships in international waters just north of the Bab-al-Mandeb. The attacks came just one week after militants struck the Emirati vessel Swift, disabling the transport ship.
In 2016, the UN Secretary General expressed concern over Iran’s illicit arms shipments following the seizure of an arms shipment by the U.S. Navy in the Gulf of Oman. The U.S. concluded that the shipment originated from Iran and was bound for Yemen, in clear violation of a UN Security Council arms embargo on Houthi militants.
In 2016, an Iranian cyber attack resulted in the destruction of databases affecting the Saudi government and elements of its private sector, including the General Authority for Civil Aviation and the Central Bank.
In January 2017, a recruiter for the IRGC claimed that thousands Afghans were currently fighting in Syria to defend the regime of Iran’s ally Bashar al-Assad.
On January 29, 2017, Iran testeda Khorramshahr medium range ballistic missile.
On January 30, 2017, Houthis attacked a Saudi frigate in the Red Sea with three unmanned explosive boats, killing two sailors.
In February 2017, Conflict Armament Research documentedIranian designed UAVs provided to Houthis to use as ‘Kamikaze’ drones.
On March 30, 2017, Iran test-fired a ballistic missile.
On June 8, 2017, DOJ announced the arrest of two members of Hizballah for allegedly conducting attack preparations in the US and abroad.
On June 14, 2017, Houthis fired missile at Emirati ship in the Red Sea.
On June 20, 2017, armed pro-regime Shaheed-129 UAV was shot down by the US after it displayed hostile intent and advanced on Coalition forces in Syria.
On July 27, 2017, Iran test-fired its Simorgh satellite launch vehicle, which Iranian officials claim is capable of carrying a satellite/payload of up to 250 kg.
On July 25, 2017, FBI Cyber Division indicates a group of Iranian based malicious cyber actors use U.S. infrastructure to compromise government, corporate and academic computer networks in the Middle East, Europe and the United States.
On July 27, 2017, Houthis launch a Burkhan missile toward King Fahd airbase near Mecca.
In August 2017, Iranian appeals court upheld 10-year prison sentences against three U.S. citizens unjustly imprisoned on fabricated national security-related charges.
On August 28, 2017, Israeli PM reported the Iranian regime is helping Hizbollah produce precision guided missiles in Lebanon and Syria threatening Israel.
On September 14, 2017, Iranian Regime-backed Houthi leader announced that his forces had the capability to strike targets anywhere in the UAE.
On September 23, 2017, Iran test-fired a ballistic missile.
A German intelligence report released in October 2017 revealed that Iran made 32 attempts in 2016 to procure technology for the its ballistic missile program from North-Rhine-Westphalia.
On November 4, 2017, Houthis launched a Burkhan missile toward Riyadh’s Kind Khalid International Airport. The debris indicated that at least components of the missile were produced by two Iranian entities.
On November 12, 2017, Houthis threatened to target coalition warships and oil tankers in response to Saudi Arabia’s closure of Yemeni ports.
On December 19, 2017, Houthis launched a ballistic missile targeting the royal Yamama Palace in southern Riyadh.
On January 4, 2018, Ukrainian authorities arrested two Iranian nationals accused of procuring missile parts.
The U.N. Panel of Experts on Yemen concluded in January 2018 that the debris recovered from the July and November 2017 Houthi ballistic missiles were “almost certainly” Iran-origin.
On January 9, 2018, Houthis threatened to block international navigation through the Red Sea if the Saudi-led Coalition continued its advance toward al-Hudeidah.
On January 10, 2018, the Saudi-led Coalition announced it had foiled a Houthi attack on a Saudi oil tanker near al-Hudeidah port, destroying a boat carrying explosives it attributed to the Houthis.
On January 16, 2018, Houthis launched a ballistic missile toward a regional airport in Jizan province.
On January 30, 2018, Houthis launched a ballistic missile toward Riyadh’s King Khaled International Airport.
On February 10, 2018, Israel shot down an armed Iranian drone that crossed into Israeli airspace. The IDF later concluded in April 2018 that the drone was “tasked to attack” in Israeli territory.
Israeli satellite photos published by Fox News on February 27, 2018, showed an IRGC-QF military base northeast of Damascus, Syria.
On March 7, 2018, IRGC Aerospace Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh, overseeing Iran’s ballistic missile program, stated that Iran had tripled its defense-related production.
On March 25, 2018, Houthis launched seven ballistic missiles toward four different Saudi cities, including three missiles directed at the capital Riyadh. The missile debris resulted in one civilian fatality.
On March 31, 2018, Houthis fired a ballistic missile targeting a Saudi National Guard base in Saudi border city of Najran.
On April 3, 2018, Houthis fired a missile at a Saudi oil tanker near the port city of al-Hudeidah, prompting a Saudi-led Coalition warship to intervene to escort the tanker.
On April 20, 2018, then-deputy commander of IRGC Hossein Salami threatened that Iran’s “hands are on the trigger and missiles are ready” to strike Israeli air bases.
In a speech on April 21, 2018, commander of Iran’s conventional Army Abdolrahim Mousavi said that the Army would work together with the IRGC to annihilate Israel within 25 years.
On April 11, 2018, Houthis fired a Burkhan ballistic missile at Riyadh and targeted southern areas of Saudi Arabia using Qasif-1 drones, both probably provided by Iran.
On May 9, 2018, Houthis fired several ballistic missiles at “economic” targets in Riyadh.
On May 10, 2018, IRGC-QF fired 32 rockets toward Israeli military positions in the Golan.
On May 14, 2018, Houthis launched ballistic missiles targeting a Saudi Aramco facility in the Saudi port city of Jizan.