Iran: Israel, US behind petrol cyberattack

·2-min read

Iran's civil defence chief has accused Israel and the United States of being the likely culprits behind a cyberattack that disrupted petrol sales across the Islamic Republic, but says a technical investigation is yet to be completed.

"We are still unable to say forensically, but analytically I believe it was carried out by the Zionist Regime, the Americans and their agents," Gholamreza Jalali, head of civil defence which is in charge of cyber security, told state TV in an interview.

Iran has said in the past few years that it is on high alert for online assaults, which it has blamed on its arch-foes the United States and Israel.

The United States and other Western powers, meanwhile, have accused Iran of trying to disrupt and break into their networks.

President Ebrahim Raisi said this week the cyberattack, which disrupted the sale of heavily subsidised petrol, was designed to create "disorder".

The disruptions on Tuesday came before the second anniversary of bloody protests in Iran over a sharp increase in fuel prices in November 2019 that turned political with protesters demanding the country's top rulers step down.

Jalali said that, based on completed investigations, Iran was "certain" that the United States and Israel were behind the cyberattacks on Iran's railroads in July and the Shahid Rajaee Port in May 2020.

Iran's train services were delayed in July by apparent cyberattacks, with hackers posting the phone number of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's office as the number to call for information.

About half of Iran's 4300 petrol stations were reconnected and resuming the sale of heavily subsidised fuel, the state news agency IRNA said on Saturday.

Hours after the cyberattack, petrol stations reopened gradually but could only be operated manually for the sale of more expensive fuel.

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