TEHRAN: Iran on Saturday strongly condemned a US decision to impose sanctions on its intelligence ministry after blaming it for an attempted cyber attack on Albania.

Also on Saturday, the interior ministry of Albania again blamed Iran for a renewed cyberattack. “The national police’s computer systems were hit Friday by a cyber attack, which, according to initial information, was committed by the same actors who in July attacked the country’s public and government service systems,” the ministry said.

On Friday, the US slapped sanctions on Iran’s intelligence ministry and its minister Esmail Khatib, saying the cyber attack on its Nato ally “disregards norms of responsible peacetime state behaviour in cyberspace”. Albania earlier on Sept 7 severed diplomatic ties with Iran, accusing it of the July 15 cyber attack that attempted, but failed, to paralyse government communications systems.

Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said: “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.”

He accused the US of “giving full support to a terrorist” group, referring to the Mujahedeen-i-Khalq.

Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2022

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