The country’s foreign minister called the Department of Justice hypocrites for indicting Iranians for actions it says the U.S. government also engages in.
The U.S. Department of Justice this week charged seven Iranians with a series of cyber attacks between 2011 and 2013 which targeted banks, corporations and a dam north of New York City. The foreign minister of Iran called it hypocritical for the United States to allege other countries of cyber warfare. Photo by GlebStock/Shutterstock
WASHINGTON, (UPI) — The United States has no place to accuse countries of engaging in cyberattacks, the Iranian foreign ministry said in a statement Saturday while denying it engaged in cyber warfare against U.S. interests.
The U.S. government charged seven Iranians on March 24 with a series of cyber assaults on American banks and a dam in New York state between 2011 and 2013, drawing the response from the Iranian foreign minister.
“The U.S. government, which put millions of innocent people at the risk of an environmental disaster through cyber attacks against Iran’s peaceful nuclear facilities, is not in a position to level accusations against citizens of other countries, including those of Iran, without substantiated evidence,” Jaberi Ansari, foreign minister of Iran, said in the statement.
U.S. officials charged the seven hackers with illegally targeting the Bowman Avenue Dam, located about 30 miles north of New York City, as well as the New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq, AT&T, JPMorgan Chase and Bank of America, and dozens of others, between 2011 and 2013.
The seven attackers worked for Iranian computer companies funded by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp, alleges the U.S. Department of Justice.
“The attacks were relentless, systematic and widespread,” Attorney General Loretta Lynch said in a press release. “They threatened our economic well-being and our ability to compete fairly in the global marketplace — both of which are directly linked to our national security. And we believe that they were conducted with the sole purpose of undermining the targeted companies and damaging the online operation of America’s free market.”
Ansari said the United States’ attack in 2010 on Iran’s nuclear energy facilities, which included installing the Stuxnet computer malware and damaged it nuclear program, cancels out the country’s right to call others on cyber warfare.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has never put risky measures in cyberspace on its agenda and never supports such steps,” Ansari said.