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Iran Stands up Official Cyber Command

Iran: Following last month’s cyber-attack by U.S. forces on Iranian missile control sites, the Iranian government has recognized the need for a more formalized cyber-force.  Despite Iran’s continued support of cyber-attacks on civilian targets and private industry, they have done little to stand up a military cyber-force.  Up to this point, the IRGC has comprised a significant portion of Iran’s cyber-force and it appears that it is unlikely to change anytime soon.  Over the weekend, IRGC Commander Hossein Salami announced the creation of “Sepehr 110,” which will serve as a “tactical battlefield communications unit.”  The unit’s main purpose is to combat electronic warfare, specifically those launched by the United States, to maintain the entire Iranian military’s command and control systems.  Commander Hossein Salami seemed confident that the new unit would be able to defend against U.S. attacks and “break the monopoly of the great powers.”  Whether the unit actually possesses these capabilities or if this is just wishful thinking remains to be seen at this time.  The timing of the unit’s creation on the heels of the U.S. attack, as well as the defensive language the unit was described with, damages Tehran’s stance that the attack had little effect on Iranian systems.

Analyst Notes

While this is an attempt to reassert Tehran’s power, it is possible that their projection of power will not stop here. It is possible that a demonstration of Iran’s cyber-abilities will be made in the coming weeks.