Thursday, February 29, 2024

Albania PM says severing ties with Iran over ‘cyberattack’

Albania is ending diplomatic relations with Iran and has ordered Iranian diplomats and embassy staff to leave the country within 24 hours following an investigation into a cyberattack in July, Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Wednesday.

“The government has decided with immediate effect to end diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Rama stated in a video statement sent to the media.

“This extreme response … is fully proportionate to the gravity and risk of the cyberattack that threatened to paralyse public services, erase digital systems and hack into state records, steal government intranet electronic communication and stir chaos and insecurity in the country,” Rama added.

There was no immediate reaction from the Iranian embassy in Tirana.

The two countries have had tense relations since 2014, when Albania accepted some 3,000 members of the notorious anti-Iran Mujahidin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) terrorist group.

Albania has previously claimed it had foiled a number of planned attacks by Iranian agents against the MKO.

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