Iran has strongly criticized a decision to sanction its intelligence ministry by the US
Iran has strongly criticized a decision to sanction its intelligence ministry by the US, which was blamed for a major cyber-attack on NATO member Albania. Albania ended diplomatic ties with Iran on Wednesday, accusing it of being responsible for the July 15 cyber-attack, which attempted but failed to block public services and access data and government connectivity.
In response, the US sanctioned Iran’s intelligence ministry and its minister, Esmail Khatib, on Friday, saying that the attack disregarded norms of responsible peacetime state behavior in cyberspace. “The ministry of foreign affairs strongly opposes the action of the US treasury department in repeatedly sanctioning the Islamic republic’s ministry of intelligence,” Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said on Saturday.
Kanani accused the US of supporting a terrorist sect,” referring to the opposition People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK), members of which are hosted by Albania. In 2013 Albania agreed to MEK members from Iraq at the request of the US and the UN, with thousands wanting to settle in the Balkan country over the years. “This criminal organization continues to act as one of America’s tools in perpetrating terrorist acts and cyber attacks” against Iran, according to the statement.