Friday , 24 March 2023

Iran Condemns U.S. Sanctions Over Cyberattack Targeting Albania

RFL/RE – Iran has strongly condemned U.S. sanctions imposed this week on Iran’s Intelligence and Security Ministry and its minister after Tehran was accused of being behind a recent cyberattack against Albania.

“America’s immediate support for the false accusation of the Albanian government…shows that the designer of this scenario is not the latter, but the American government,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said in a statement on September 10.

Albania ordered Iranian officials out of the country on September 7 and severed diplomatic relations with Tehran following an investigation into the cyberattack that targeted the NATO member’s digital infrastructure in July.

Tirana described “irrefutable” evidence that Tehran was behind the cyberattack.SEE ALSO:FBI Experts To Investigate Massive Cyberattack In Montenegro

The United States subsequently announced new sanctions against Iranian Intelligence and Security Minister Esmail Khatib and the ministry as a whole.

“Iran’s cyberattack against Albania disregards norms of responsible peacetime state behavior in cyberspace, which includes a norm on refraining from damaging critical infrastructure that provides services to the public,” U.S. Treasury Undersecretary Brian Nelson said on September 9.

In addition to condemning the new sanctions on September 10, Kanani accused Washington of “giving full support to a terrorist sect,” a reference to the banned opposition Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).

At the request of the United States and the United Nations, Albania agreed in 2013 to take in members of the MKO from Iraq, and thousands have since settled in the Balkan country.

“This criminal organization continues to play a role as one of America’s tools in perpetrating terrorist acts, cyberattacks” against Iran, Khani said, without providing evidence.

The MKO is an exiled political-militant organization that has advocated the overthrow of Iran’s clerical regime and which Tehran regards as a terrorist organization.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AFP.