Iranian Raisi says cyberattack on fuel industry designed to ‘anger nation’

DUBAI, October 27 (Reuters) – A cyberattack that disrupted the sale of heavily subsidized gasoline across the Islamic Republic was designed to create “unrest and disruption,” Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said on Wednesday.

“We must be equipped and prepared against cyber attacks,” said Raisi, quoted by Iranian state media.

“Some people intend to anger our nation by creating disorder and disruption in their lives,” he said without further details.

Tuesday’s disruption preceded the second anniversary of bloody protests in Iran against a sharp rise in fuel prices in November 2019, which turned political with protesters demanding the resignation of the country’s top leaders.

A man refills his car at a gas station, after the fuel price rises in Tehran, Iran, November 15, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee / WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

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Iranian authorities have said fuel distribution will return to normal within hours, state television reported.

Oil Minister Javad Owji said 3,000 of the 4,300 affected gas stations across the country had resumed normal operations.

In the past, Tehran has blamed the United States and Israel for a series of online attacks. In July, the website of the Ministry of Transport was shut down in what state media described as “cyber disruption.”

In the same month, Iranian rail services were delayed by apparent cyber attacks, with hackers posting the phone number of the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei as the number to call for information.

Some Western countries have accused Iran of trying to disrupt and break into their networks.

Dubai Newsroom report, Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alison Williams and Mike Harrison

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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