Iranian Parliament Approves Information Security Deal With Russia

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Iran’s parliament has given its approval for a bill aimed at fostering cooperation with Russia in the realm of information security, as both countries are accused of extensive cyber attacks.

The bill, which implements an agreement signed three years ago by former Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, received the green light from parliamentarians.

Comprising nine articles, the bill focuses on combating cyber threats, fortifying information security measures, and fostering collaboration between Iran and Russia. A notable clause in the legislation addresses the exchange of information and cooperation in prosecuting criminal offenses between the two nations.

Before the parliamentary vote, Abolfazl Amouei, spokesperson for the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, advocated for the bill, citing the emergence of cyber threats against the two countries. He stressed that the collaboration between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Russian Federation, as outlined in the bill, provides responsive solutions to counter these evolving threats.

However, Hosseinali Haji Deligani expressed his opposition to the bill, stating, “The terrorist objectives for the Islamic Republic of Iran and Russia differ, and the bill lacks specificity regarding the nature of collaboration. In essence, the sections are ambiguous, failing to provide guidance on how to proceed if the exchange of information contradicts our laws.”

In recent years, Tehran and Moscow have strengthened their political, military, communication, and cyber ties, prompting concerns among Western countries and their allies. Microsoft’s Threat Analysis Center (MTAC) recently reported that Russia, Iran, and China are likely planning to influence upcoming elections, including those in the United States in 2024. The report warned of potential targeting of “election infrastructure, campaigns, and voters” by authoritarian regimes.

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