The US imposes sanctions on Iran over the cyberattack on Albania
The United States (US) on Friday imposed sanctions on Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security and its minister, accusing them of being part of the July cyberattack on Albania, and engaging in cyber activities against the United States and its allies.
The US Treasury Department in a statement also said that the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security directs several networks of cyberattacks, including those involved in cyber espionage and ransomware attacks in support of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The latest US vs Iran row move comes after Albania severed diplomatic relations with Iran on Wednesday over a massive cyberattack. The Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama, said that Iran conducted a massive cyberattack in July. The Albanian government also ordered Iranian diplomats and embassy staff to leave the country within 24 hours.
The White House National Security Council said in a statement, “The US will take further action to hold Iran accountable for actions that threaten the security of a US ally.” Before leaving Albania, Iranian diplomats burned papers inside the Iranian embassy in Albania.
When Iranian diplomats left the country, Albanian counter-terrorism police searched the empty Iranian embassy in Tirana, the capital of Albania, on Thursday. The police, wearing masks and helmets and carrying automatic rifles, along with a dog, entered the building.
On Friday, the United States also imposed sanctions on an Iranian company, accusing it of coordinating military flights between Iran and Russia to transport Iranian drones to Russians. The US also imposed sanctions on three other companies, accusing them of producing Iranian drones.
The US Treasury Department said it designated Tehran-based Safiran Airport Services, Paravar Pars Company, Design and Manufacturing of Aircraft Engines and Baharestan Kish Company. The Treasury also designated Baharestan Kish Company’s managing director (MD) and a member of its board of directors, Rehmatollah Heidari.