Iran blames Israel for cyber attack, Rouhani warns of ‘war situation’ as sanctions resume

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

Hamid Fatahi, the CEO of Iran’s Telecommunications Company, stated on Twitter on Monday that the country had foiled a wave of cyber attacks, allegedly conducted by Israel, targeting communications infrastructure of the Islamic Republic. According to the CEO, the operations against Iran “were firmly foiled”.

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.

Iran blames Israel for cyber attack, Rouhani warns of 'war situation' as sanctions resume.jpgGen. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of the 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 Iranian plot to assassinate an opposition leader in Denmark was an Israeli conspiracy that sought to harm Tehran’s relation with the European Union.

Iran greeted the re-imposition of US sanctions on Monday with air defense drills.

“We are in the war situation, we are in the economic war situation. We are confronting a bullying enemy. We have to stand to win,”  Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pledged to government officials in comments aired on state TV.Iran blames Israel for cyber attack, Rouhani warns of 'war situation' as sanctions resume (3).jpg

The new American sanctions particularly hurt Iran’s vital oil industry, a crucial source of hard currency for its anemic economy. Its national currency has plummeted over the last year, sending prices for everything from mobile phones to medicine skyrocketing.

“Today, Iran is able to sell its oil, and it will sell,” Rouhani vowed Monday as the sanctions kicked in.