In this Sept 17, 2019 photo, Iranian national flags fly near a major highway through Tehran, Iran. (PHOTO / BLOOMBERG)
TEHRAN / DUBAI – Iran on Saturday condemned the new US sanctions against its intelligence ministry, which has been accused of launching an alleged cyberattack on Albania.
"This new sanctions label, just like the previous illegal US sanctions against the Intelligence Ministry, will never be able to create the slightest upset in the determination of the security servants of the Iranian people," Nasser Kanaani, spokesman of the Iranian Foreign Ministry, said in a statement.
The US Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on Iran's Intelligence Ministry and its Minister Esmail Khatib, citing alleged cyberattacks by Tehran on the Albanian government in July
The US Treasury Department on Friday imposed sanctions on Iran's Intelligence Ministry and its Minister Esmail Khatib, citing alleged cyberattacks by Tehran on the Albanian government in July.
On Wednesday, Albania severed diplomatic relations with Iran. The United States supported Albania's move and vowed to take action in response to the alleged attack on its NATO ally.
Kanaani said that Washington is the "designer of this scenario" and Tirana is only a victim of Washington's scheme.
He blamed the United States for, what he called, forcing Albania to host an Iranian "terrorist sect," referring to the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO).
For years, America has provided the MKO with all-out support besides training and arming it in the field of cyberspace, said Kanaani, adding that this organization has "constantly served and still serves as a tool in the hands of America to carry out acts of terror, cyberattacks, and wage psychosocial war against the Iranian government and nation."
Kanaani said the US government's move to instrumentalize the MKO, which he said has the blood of over 17,000 Iranian civilians and statesmen on its hands, is "a clear example of organized support for terrorism" against Iran.
Iran will use all its capacities within the framework of international law to realize the rights of the nation and defend itself against this sinister conspiracy, he added.
Also on Saturday, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported that Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards have seized a foreign vessel in the Gulf for allegedly smuggling 757,000 litres of diesel out of the country.
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The unnamed vessel's seven crew members, who are foreign nationals, have been handed over to legal authorities, IRNA reported without elaborating on the nationalities of the ship or its crew.
Iran, which has some of the world's cheapest fuel prices due to heavy subsidies and the plunge in value of its national currency, has been fighting rampant fuel smuggling by land to neighboring countries and by sea to Gulf Arab states.
With Reuters inputs