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Obama to China After OPM Cyber Attacks: Thank You

President Obama
President Obama / AP
• July 21, 2015 11:02 am

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President Obama thanked China, the suspected source of the large-scale cyber attacks against the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), for its role in finalizing the Iran nuclear arms deal.

The Associated Press reported that Obama had a conversation with Chinese President Xi Jinping Monday during which he thanked the world leader for his role in securing the nuclear agreement.

On Monday, the United Nations Security Council — of which China is a permanent member — unanimously backed the Iran nuclear agreement. China also helped negotiate the deal with Iran, which was finalized in Vienna last week.

Both Democrats and Republicans have criticized the agreement, which would lift international sanctions on Iran while allowing the country to press on with crucial elements of its nuclear work, research, and development.

In an apparent effort to drum up support for the deal, the White House launched a Twitter account Tuesday dedicated to dispersing the "facts" of the nuclear arms agreement with Iran.

Earlier this month, an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security indicated that the nine major cyber attacks against OPM over the last year originated from Chinese sources. 

The attacks, which compromised the personal data of 22.1 million Americans, are believed to be part of a larger-scale operation aimed at stealing information for intelligence or military reasons.

"It’s a gold mine for Chinese intelligence," James Lewis, a cyber security expert with the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told the Washington Free Beacon of the attacks. "This information lets them get into the Americans’ skin, see how they think and where they might make a mistake."

The Obama administration has been silent on the OPM attacks.