Iran Accuses Israel of Launching Cyberattack on Its Communications Infrastructure

Accusation comes as U.S. reimposes broad sanctions on Iran once lifted by nuclear deal

A protester sets fire to the American flag during a demonstration on the anniversary of the U.S. embassy seizure, in Tehran, Iran, November 4, 2018.
Bloomberg

Iranian officials said on Monday that the country was targeted by a cyberattack and blamed Israel for the assault, which they said was aimed at Iran's communications infrastructure.

Iranian Telecommunication Minister Mohammad Javad Azeri Jahromi and his deputy, Hamid Fatahi, both tweeted about the attack on Monday — the same day U.S. sanctions on the country once lifted by the nuclear deal resumed.

Israel's Foreign Ministry declined to comment.

Iran previously faced a computer virus called Stuxnet, which destroyed thousands of centrifuges involved in Iran's contested nuclear program in 2011. Stuxnet is widely believed to be an American and Israeli creation, though neither country has acknowledged being behind the attack.

Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of country's military unit in charge of combatting sabotage, said last week that Iranian President Hassan Rohani's cell phone was tapped recently.

Meanwhile on Monday, Iran’s intelligence minister claimed that an alleged Iranian plot to kill an opposition activist in Denmark was an Israeli conspiracy that sought to harm Tehran’s relation with the European Union.

The minister, Mahmoud Alavi, told state TV that the “Zionist regime” was behind the plot. He didn’t elaborate.

Denmark announced last week that a police operation there in September stemmed from an Iranian plot to kill an opposition activist. It said a suspect in the case, a Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent, has denied wrongdoing and is being held in pre-trial custody until November 8.

The operation was linked to a separatist Iranian Arab group that Tehran has blamed for a September attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz that killed at least 25 people.