TEHRAN (Press Shia) – Head of Iran’s Civil Defense Organization Brigadier General Gholam Reza Jalali rejected as baseless claims that the US has recently mounted several cyber attacks against the Islamic Republic.
“The Americans have twice said that they have responded to the Iranian attack on the US drone with cyber attacks,” Brigadier General Jalali told reporters at a press briefing in Tehran on Monday.
“However, we have seen no sign of cyber attacks,” the top security official added.
In a report published by Reuters on Wednesday, two US officials said Washington had carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran’s ability to spread “propaganda”, according to the report.
The remarks came against the backdrop of increased tensions between Iran and the US after the Islamic Republic shot down an advanced US spy drone over its territorial waters and also recent attacks by Yemeni forces on Saudi oil facilities, with Washington and Riyadh claiming Iran was behind them.
The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps said on June 20 that a US spy drone that violated the Iranian territorial airspace in the early hours of the day was shot down by the IRGC Aerospace Force’s air defense unit near the Kooh-e-Mobarak region in the southern province of Hormozgan.
The intruding drone was reportedly shot by Iran’s homegrown air defense missile system “Khordad-3rd”.
Tensions between the US and Iran escalated further after Yemeni armed forces conducted a large-scale operation against Saudi Arabia’s Aramco oil installations last month, in response to the Saudi-led war on their country.
The Yemeni Houthi Ansarullah movement immediately took credit for the attacks, but US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo swiftly accused Iran of being behind the assault, without providing any evidence. Tehran categorically rejected the allegations.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia claimed that the strikes on its oil infrastructure came from the “north” and were “unquestionably” sponsored by Iran, adding that the Houthis were not responsible for the assault despite claiming it.
Shortly after the Saudi announcement, the spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces, however, reiterated it was behind the weekend attack, stressing that the Houthis have new drones, powered by “normal and jet engines” that can reach targets deep in Saudi Arabia.
“Our forces have reached a high level of efficiency and ability. They can manufacture various types of unmanned aerial vehicles in record time. The Second Deterrent Balance Operation, which targeted Saudi oil installations, is a perfect example of the capabilities of our forces in terms of planning and implementation,” Brigadier General Yahya Saree said during a press conference in the capital Sana’a.