In this July 2, 2012 file photo, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard speedboat moves in the Persian Gulf near an oil tanker. (Associated Press/Vahid Salemi)
The U.S. launched a cyberattack against Iran in late June that successfully disrupted the ability of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to attack oil tankers, according to a New York Times report based on discussions with senior American officials.
The cyberstrike reportedly came the same day President Donald Trump called off military strikes last minute in retaliation for Iran's downing of a U.S. drone. Trump said the strikes would not have been proportionate to the downing of an unmanned aircraft.
Trump had said a cyberoperation was underway, but the New York Times report on Wednesday expanded on the impact of the attack as well as the Trump administration's motives.
On May 16, 2019, U.S. officials cited reports that Iran had installed missiles on civilian motorboats in the Persian Gulf as a justification for a major deployment of U.S. military forces to the Middle East.
However, this claim may ring a bit strangely to observers of Iran's military, as employing swarms of heavily armed motor boats to launch asymmetric attacks on maritime assets has long been understood to be its naval strategy — one that Tehran hasn't exactly been shy about publicizing.
United States Cyber Command on Thursday reportedly launched an operation against an Iranian spy group with ties to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, despite President Donald Trump's last-minute scrapping of a direct military strike, former intelligence officials said in a Yahoo News report.
Sometimes, a moment is so ironic that it makes you stop for a minute to wonder who the hell is running this universe. A classic example from the annals of U.S. military history: The first atomic bomb dropped on Japan was named "Little Boy," and the B-29 that carried it was named for the pilot's mother.
A far less historic but equally strange event took place on Thursday when Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan acknowledged that the Pentagon is considering a request from the head of U.S. Central Command, Marine Gen. Kenneth McKenzie Jr., to deploy more U.S. troops to the Middle East in response to purported threats from Iran.
"What we're looking at is: Are there things we can do to enhance force protection in the Middle East," Shanahan told reporters at the Pentagon. "It may involve sending additional troops."
That may not sound ironic at all until you realize that Shanahan was about to have a meeting with an official from Vietnam, home of the conflict that proved big things have small beginnings.