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US President Barack Obama orders Full Review of 2016 Election Cyber Attacks

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President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the Brady press briefing room at the White House in Washington, Nov. 14, 2016. VOA

December 10, 2016: US President Barack Obama ordered a review of all cyber-attacks that took place during the 2016 election period, the White House said on Saturday because of the growing concerns over Russian interference.

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White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said, “Obama called for the review earlier this week, amid growing calls from Congress for more information on the extent of Russian interference in the campaign.”

White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said, “Obama called for the review earlier this week, amid growing calls from Congress for more information on the extent of Russian interference in the campaign.”

According to PTI, Schultz said, “We are committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections and this report will dig into this pattern of malicious cyberactivity timed to our elections, take stock of our defensive capabilities and capture lessons learned to make sure that we brief members of Congress and stakeholders as appropriate.”

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According to PTI, Schultz said, “We are committed to ensuring the integrity of our elections and this report will dig into this pattern of malicious cyberactivity timed to our elections, take stock of our defensive capabilities and capture lessons learned to make sure that we brief members of Congress and stakeholders as appropriate.”

Schultz said, “Obama wants the report completed before his term ends on January 20.”
“We are going to make public as much as we can,” he added. “This is a major priority for the president.”

The step is taken after Democrats in Congress pressed the White House to reveal the details to Congress or to public of Russian hacking and also disinformation in the election.
Not only that, US President-elect Donald Trump rejected the intelligence community finding of official Russian involvement.

According to PTI, “Confidential emails from the Democratic National Committee and John Podesta, a top advisor to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, were steadily leaked out via WikiLeaks in the months before the election, damaging Clinton’s White House effort.”
One month before the election, on October 7, the Department of Homeland Security and the Director of National Intelligence announced, “The Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations.”

They said, “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process.”

In a recent interview with Time magazine, for its “Person of the Year” award, Donald Trump rejected those findings. And when asked if the intelligence was politicized, Trump replied, “I think so.”

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“I don’t believe they interfered,” he said. “It could be Russia. And it could be China. And it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”

by NewsGram team with PTI inputs

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U.S. To End Waivers For Iran Oil imports

Oil exports are a key source of revenue for Tehran, which has been hit hard by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (file photo)
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. RFERL

U.S. President Donald Trump has decided not to reissue waivers in May allowing importers to buy Iranian oil without facing U.S. sanctions, the White House said in a statement on April 21.

The United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates “have agreed to take timely action to assure that global demand is met as all Iranian oil is removed from the market,” the White House said.

“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the statement added.

The decision means sanctions waivers for five nations, including China and India, Japan, South Korea and Turkey, won’t be renewed when they expire on May 2.

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The move is part of the Trump administration’s tough line on Iran. VOA

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington has had “extensive and productive discussions with Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and other major producers to ease this transition and ensure sufficient supply.”

U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-Texas) applauded the end of oil waivers for Iran.

“This decision will deprive the ayatollahs of billions of dollars that they would have spent undermining the security of the United States and our allies, building up Iran’s nuclear and ballistic-missile programs and financing global terrorism,” he said.

The move is part of the Trump administration’s tough line on Iran.

“We will continue to apply maximum pressure on the Iranian regime until its leaders change their destructive behavior, respect the rights of the Iranian people, and return to the negotiating table,” Pompeo said in an April 22 statement.

oil-refinery
“This decision is intended to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero, denying the regime its principal source of revenue,” the statement added. Pixabay

Oil exports are a key source of revenue for Tehran, which has been hit hard by the reimposition of U.S. sanctions.

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Ahead of Washington’s announcement, an unamed Iranian Oil Ministry source told the semiofficial Tasnim news agency that the United States will fail to cut Iranian oil exports to zero.

“Whether the waivers continue or not, Iran’s oil exports will not be zero under any circumstances unless Iranian authorities decide to stop oil exports…and this is not relevant now,” Tasnim quoted the unnamed “informed source” as saying. (RFERL)