Iran’s civil defense chief said that the U.S. and Israel are likely behind a cyberattack on Iranian gas stations.
Gholamreza Jalali made the claim on Saturday but noted that a full investigation has not yet been completed, Reuters reported.
“We are still unable to say forensically, but analytically I believe it was carried out by the Zionist regime, the Americans and their agents,” Jalali said on state television, according to the news service.
In the past few years, Iran has said it was on high alert for online attacks. While Tehran has blamed the U.S. and Israel for such assaults, the U.S. and other Western powers have claimed Iran has attempted to attack their networks, Reuters noted.
Last week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said that the attack on gas stations was intended to make “people angry by creating disorder and disruption.”
During the attack, the Iranian state news agency IRNA reported that a message that said “cyberattack 64411” appeared when someone attempted to use a government card to get subsidized fuel.
The government-funded and -controlled agency later removed the report and said it had been hacked, but other outlets in Iran have also reportedly claimed they were hacked after reporting about news of which the government disapproved.
The recent cyberattack occurred near the second anniversary of the protests in November 2019 over gas prices, which led to thousands of arrests and hundreds of deaths.
Jalali also said that completed investigations indicated that Iran was “certain” that the United States and Israel carried out cyberattacks on the nation’s railroads in July and the Shahid Rajaee Port in May 2020, Reuters reported.
As of Saturday, IRNA reported that roughly half of Iran’s more than 4,000 gas stations had resumed their sales of heavily subsidized fuel, the news service added.