Pompeo: We are trying to prevent Iran from selling crude oil to Hezbollah

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo takes questions during a news conference at the State Department in Washington on July 8, 2020. (Reuters)
Short Url
Updated 09 July 2020

Pompeo: We are trying to prevent Iran from selling crude oil to Hezbollah

  • Hezbollah "in discussion" with Lebanese government about Iran supplying refined oil products
  • The secretary of state also urged the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran

LONDON: The US is trying to prevent Iran from selling crude oil to Hezbollah, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday.

Pompeo added that the US is working against the “terrorist organization” Hezbollah and is supporting Lebanon to be a country that is not subordinate to Iran. 

Hezbollah, which is supported, armed and funded by Iran, is classified as a terrorist group by the United States and many other countries. 

The group is now a dominant force in Lebanese politics and supports the government of Prime Minister Hassan Diab.

The Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah said on Tuesday that his group was in discussion with the government about Iran supplying refined oil products to Lebanon in exchange for Lebanese pounds to ease pressure on the plummeting currency.  The pound has lost 80 percent of its value since October as the country’s economic crisis has escalated.

The secretary of state also urged the UN Security Council to extend an arms embargo on Iran and said the US and partner forces last month seized a vessel carrying arms to the Houthis in Yemen.

“The Security Council must extend the arms embargo on Iran to prevent further conflict in the region,” Pompeo told a State Department news conference.

“No serious person can possibly believe Iran will use any weapon it receives for peaceful ends.”

He added that Iran continues to supply the Houthis with weapons.


Iranian hackers capable of cracking encrypted messaging systems, reports suggest

Updated 1 min 46 sec ago

Iranian hackers capable of cracking encrypted messaging systems, reports suggest

  • The reports suggested that the Iranian hacking operation includes a vast array of targets from domestic dissidents to religious and ethnic minorities, as well as anti-government activists abroad and even the general public
  • “Iran’s behavior on the internet, from censorship to hacking, has become more aggressive than ever,” Amir Rashidi, the director of digital rights and security at Miaan, said

LONDON: Hackers linked and affiliated with the Iranian government are now capable of cracking encrypted messaging systems such as Telegram and WhatsApp, according to digital security reports released on Friday.

Published by cybersecurity technology firm Check Point Software Technologies and digital security-focused human rights organization Miaan Group, the reports suggested that the Iranian hacking operation includes a vast array of targets from domestic dissidents to religious and ethnic minorities, as well as anti-government activists abroad and even the general public.

“Iran’s behavior on the internet, from censorship to hacking, has become more aggressive than ever,” Amir Rashidi, the director of digital rights and security at Miaan, and a researcher for one of the reports, told the New York Times.

Using malware disguised as Android applications, Iranian hackers successfully overcame encryptions set up by messaging apps and infiltrated targets’ supposedly secure mobile phones and computers.

The reports come after the US recently issue warnings over Iran’s attempts to cyber-sabotage and influence its upcoming elections in November.