Iran’s Revolutionary Guard soldiers arrested dual Iranian-US citizen Siamak Namazi in Tehran last month, confiscating his computer. Shortly thereafter, the Revolutionary Guard began a spree of cyberattacks on US targets.
Targets from the attacks include academics, journalists, and Obama Administration members from the State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and the Office of Iranian Affairs, according to the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ talked to US officials, who believe this is tied to Namazi’s arrest and the arrest of others like him:
“U.S. officials were among many who were targeted by recent cyberattacks,” said an administration official, adding that the U.S. is still investigating possible links to the Namazi case. “U.S. officials believe some of the more recent attacks may be linked to reports of detained dual citizens and others.”
Namazi’s friends said that his computer was taken when he was arrested.
While the Dubai-based businessman wasn’t a politician, Namazi is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader with a prominent family, who has presented papers about improving US-Iran relations. The kind of guy with highly exploitable contacts on his computer, if you’re a Revolutionary Guard soldier looking for a target.
Iran has arrested other dual citizens recently, including Washington Post Tehran Bureau Chief Jason Rezaian, former FBI agent Robert Levinson, former U.S. Marine Amir Hekmati, and Christian pastor Saeed Abedini.
Namazi’s imprisonment is striking because it’s the first known arrest of an American citizen after the nuclear deal between Iran and the US. This is evidence that the Revolutionary Guard won’t let a little thing like international diplomacy stop its hardline agenda.