In Tehran, the hacktivist group known as Black Reward published a treasure trove of documents from Iran’s nuclear program Saturday after a 24-hour deadline it had given the Islamic government expired. On Friday, the group said it had hacked the email system of Iran’s Nuclear Power Production Development company, threatening to release the classified documents if the regime does not stop its crackdown on protesters. This latest development comes as the Islamic Republic faces mounting international sanctions from Western governments over the brutal actions of its security forces against protesters.
According to reports, the hacktivist group received 50 GB of information critical to the Islamic government. Earlier, Black Reward warned it will publish the data it has obtained within 24 hours unless the Islamic regime decides to release all political prisoners and detained protesters and stop crackdowns against Iranian citizens.
“The published documents contain the contracts of Iran Atomic Energy Production and Development Company with domestic and foreign partners, management and operational schedules of Bushehr power plant, identity details and paystubs of engineers and employees of the company as well as passports and visas of Iranian and Russian specialists of Bushehr power plant,” explained the group on social media.
The hacktivists mentioned they do not “flirt with criminal clerics, and if we promise something, we fulfill it 100%.” The group also called on experts in related areas and the media to publish investigative reports on the material they seized. At the beginning of the week, Black Rock announced that it had hacked the emails of managers and employees of Press TV, the Islamic government’s international English news channel.
Some of the hacked documents from Black Rock included contracts, operational timelines of the Bushehr nuclear power plant, workers’ payrolls, and visas of Iranian and Russian specialists. According to experts, the recent cyberattack from Black Rock is a significant step in exposing the Islamic Republic’s nuclear program activities as Western governments are trying to revive the 2015 nuclear deal. As of now, negotiations between Iran and America have reached a standstill, however Iranian officials have told reporters that the revival of the 2015 nuclear agreement relies on American officials and their willingness to continue talks.
With protests entering their sixth week in Iran, the Islamic Republic continues to deploy its security forces, Revolutionary Guards, and paramilitary Basij forces, to crack down on civilians. The protests broke out in the wake of the 22-year-old death of Mahsa Amini by the Islamic morality police. Current and former Officials from the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) have called on Iranians loyal to the regime to help security forces arrest, beat, and kill civilians on the streets who chant anti-regime slogans.
In response to the growing number of protests in Iran, the European Union (EU) and the U.S. have enacted sanctions against the Islamic morality police and the Basij paramilitary force for their brutal actions. In response to international sanctions, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and President Ebrahim Raisi have blamed the West and Israel for inciting anti-regime protests and wanting their overthrow. Even with the internet in Iran still shut down by the regime, photos and videos on social media continue to show marches on the streets of Tehran and other parts of the country, with Iranians chanting “Death to Khamenei” and “Women, Life, Freedom.”