Iran must refrain from new reductions to nuclear commitments: France

(File/AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Iran must refrain from new reductions to nuclear commitments: France

  • The French were responding to Iran saying they are working on advanced centrifuges for uranium enrichment
  • Meanwhile, another French academic was detained in Iran

PARIS: France demanded on Wednesday that Iran refrain from entering a new phase of “especially worrying” reductions to Iran’s obligations to a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.
“Iran must abstain from crossing an especially worrying new phase of new measures that could contribute to an escalation in tensions,” French foreign ministry spokeswoman Agnès von der Muhll told reporters in a daily briefing.
She was responding after Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said on Monday that Tehran was working on advanced IR-9 centrifuges for uranium enrichment. Those centrifuges do not appear in the 2015 accord.

Meanwhile, France’s government denounced Roland Marchal’s unexplained detention as “unacceptable,” and colleagues called Wednesday for his release.
Marchal, a sub-Saharan Africa specialist at Paris university Sciences Po, was arrested in June when he traveled to Iran to visit his romantic partner, Fariba Adelkhah, according to Sciences Po professor Richard Banegas, who has worked closely with him.
It's unclear what charges Marchal faces, but Banegas told The Associated Press that he and colleagues consider him “an academic prisoner.”


Hackers attempt to take down UK Labour Party’s web services ahead of election

Updated 17 min 10 sec ago

Hackers attempt to take down UK Labour Party’s web services ahead of election

  • Britain’s security agencies have warned that Russia and other countries could use cyberattacks messages on social media to attempt to disrupt the election
  • The nature of such attacks often made it difficult to attribute responsibility to any particular group, a NCSC spokesman said

LONDON: Hackers attacked Britain’s opposition Labour Party, bombarding its web services with malicious traffic in an attempt to force them offline just weeks ahead of a national election, party and security officials said on Tuesday,
“We have experienced a sophisticated and large-scale cyberattack on Labour digital platforms,” Labour said in a statement. “We took swift action and these attempts failed due to our robust security systems.
The party was confident data breach occurred, it said.
Britain’s security agencies have warned that Russia and other countries could use cyberattacks or political messages on social media to attempt to disrupt the Dec. 12 election.
Moscow has repeatedly denied Western allegations of election interference and a person with knowledge of the matter said an initial investigation had found nothing to link the Labour Party attack to a foreign state.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Center, part of the GCHQ signals intelligence agency, said the attack was a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack — a technique used by hackers to take down websites by overwhelming them with malicious traffic.
“DDoS attacks are a common form of attack used by a very wide range of attackers. Mitigation techniques are available and worked in this case,” a NCSC spokesman said.
The nature of such attacks often made it difficult to attribute responsibility to any particular group, he said.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said the attack was very serious but was successfully repelled by the party’s defense systems when the digital assault began on Monday.
“But if this is a sign of things to come in this election, I feel very nervous about it all,” he said. “Because a cyberattack against a political party in an election is suspicious and something one is very worried about.”
A Labour spokesman said that while the attack had slowed down some campaign activity, they were restored on Tuesday.
The person with knowledge of the matter said any Labour Party web services currently offline were not directly connected to the attack.
Britain goes to the polls on Dec. 12 in an election called by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to try to break the Brexit deadlock in parliament more than three years since the country voted to leave the European Union.
A report by parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee has investigated Russian activity in British politics and reportedly includes charges of spying and interference in polls, including the 2016 Brexit referendum and the 2017 national election.
The government, however, has declined to publish it before the upcoming election.