U.S. launches cyber attacks against Iran: report

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WASHINGTON, June 22 (Xinhua) — The United States carried out cyber attacks against Iranian missile control systems in retaliation after Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone, media have reported Saturday.

Citing sources familiar with the matter, the Washington Post reported that the cyber attacks, which was approved by U.S. President Donald Trump, disabled Iranian computer systems used to control rocket and missile launches.

Coordinating with the U.S. Central Command, the U.S. Cyber Command launched the attack on Thursday night, according to the report.

The U.S. government on Saturday warned industry officials to be alert for cyber attacks originating from Iran.

Trump on Friday confirmed that he called off the military strikes in retaliation against Iran 10 minutes before they were to be implemented, citing the potential casualties of the impending strikes, which might be 150 people and “not proportionate” to the loss of a U.S. unmanned aircraft.

However, he has not ruled out future military strikes against Iran. He told reporters on Saturday that military action “is always on the table until we get this solved.”

Trump also stressed multiple times that Washington would not allow Tehran to be armed with a nuclear weapon.

Iran’s military warned the United States about taking military action against Iran, saying any attack would draw Tehran’s “crushing response and cost the U.S. dearly,” Tasnim News Agency reported on Saturday.

The U.S. military confirmed on Thursday that an RQ-4 Global Hawk Unmanned Aircraft System (UAS) was shot down by an Iranian surface-to-air missile system at approximately 2335 GMT on Wednesday. Iran, however, claimed the drone downed in the southern part of the country had crossed Iranian borders.

The incident further inflamed the ongoing tensions between Washington and Tehran, which have been on the rise since the attack on two oil tankers last week in the Gulf of Oman.