Iran says foreign countries may be behind cyberattacks, but fires, explosions normal

A recent fire in the Iranian city of Tabriz. (Twitter)

Iran's foreign ministry said on Thursday foreign governments may have been behind recent cyberattacks on Iranian facilities, but played down the possibility of them having a role in a series of fires and explosions at military and other installations.

Since late June, several fires or explosions have been reported at military, industrial and nuclear sites in Iran as well as at oil refineries, power plants, factories and businesses.

Read more: Timeline: A look back at recent explosions and fires across Iran

Some Iranian officials have said a fire at the underground Natanz nuclear facility this month may have been caused by cyber sabotage. Other incidents have gone unexplained.

A handout satellite image shows the new centrifuge assembly workshop at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant. (Planet Labs Inc and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey via Reuters)

A handout satellite image shows the new centrifuge assembly workshop at the Natanz Fuel Enrichment Plant. (Planet Labs Inc and Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey via Reuters)


"There are thousands of cyberattacks on the country's infrastructure on a daily basis - which is nothing new - most of which are repelled by our defense systems," Iranian media quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Abbas Mousavi as telling reporters.

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In recent months, there have been several cyberattacks with wider dimensions, and technical and forensic analyses have identified "governments or groups" who were behind the attacks, he said without naming them.

But Mousavi also said fires in forests, refineries and other locations were common in summer.

An article this month by Iran's state news agency IRNA addressed what it called the possibility of sabotage by enemies such as Israel and the United States although it stopped short of accusing either directly.

The dome of a mosque in Tehran belonging to the Iranian law enforcement force caught fire. (Screengrab)

The dome of a mosque in Tehran belonging to the Iranian law enforcement force caught fire. (Screengrab)

Read more:

Incident at Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility due to ‘security breach’: Lawmaker

Iran says explosion near military site due to accident, ruling out Israel involvement

US stands with Iranian people ‘in their struggle for true justice’: State Department

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Last Update: Thursday, 23 July 2020 KSA 11:25 - GMT 08:25
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