A member in the Albanian parliament, Taulant Balla, confirmed to Al Arabiya on Wednesday that his government has evidence of Iran’s involvement in the cyberattack against his country, stressing that the Albanian security services have identified the Iranian groups responsible.
Balla said: “This decision comes after a very severe cyberattack that Albania suffered on July 15. It was meant to destroy the complete digital infrastructure of Albania.” He added: “The government of Albania is completely sure that this attack was not organized by a simple person or organization, but it was completely organized by the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
He said: “Four terrorist groups were involved in this cyberattack against Albania. One of them a very big cyberterrorist that was also involved in other attacks in friendly countries like Saudi Arabia, UAE, Israel and Kuwait. All the proof confirmed, with no shadow of a doubt, that behind this severe and very dangerous cyberattack against Albania was the Islamic Republic of Iran.”
The Albanian MP went on to say: “The decision taken is based on real findings… We are 100 percent convinced that Iran is behind this failed cyberattack on the digital infrastructure of Albania.”
He called on Iran to change its behavior of supporting terrorism around the world: “We would love to see Iran changing its orientation of the last decade, becoming a democracy, and stopping sponsoring any kind of terrorism.”
Simultaneously, Britain announced that its National Cyber Security Centre has identified actors linked to the Iranian state who are “almost certainly” responsible for the cyberattack targeting the Albanian government in July.
“Iran’s reckless actions showed a blatant disregard for the Albanian people, severely restricting their ability to access essential public services,” British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said in a statement. “The UK is supporting our valuable partner and NATO ally. We join Albania and other allies in exposing Iran’s unacceptable actions.”
On the other hand, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said that Tehran strongly condemned Albania’s decision to cut diplomatic ties with it, and rejected Tirana’s reasons for taking this step, describing it as “baseless allegations.”
Albania cut diplomatic ties with Iran on Wednesday and expelled its diplomats after a July cyberattack it blamed on Iran, a move backed by Washington which vowed to respond to the attack on its NATO ally.