Albania has cut diplomatic relations with Iran, alleging that the latter launched a cyberattack committed on the 15th of July, which resulted in the temporary shutdown of Albanian government websites.
Albania is home to about 3,000 members of the Iranian dissident group, the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran, a source of tension with Iran as far back as 2014.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama produced a video statement in which he specified that an investigation into the attacks revealed that it was carried out by the government of Iran itself, and not unaffiliated hackers:
This extreme response … is fully proportionate to the gravity and risk of the cyberattack that threatened to paralyse public services, erase digital systems, hack into state records, steal government intranet electronic communication, and stir chaos and insecurity in the country.
Albanian response has taken the form of the expulsion of Iranian diplomatic staff from the embassy in Tirana, who were given a 24-hour period to leave.
For its part, the Iranian Foreign Ministry has roundly rejected Albania’s accusation, whereas the United States has expressed support for PM Rama’s decisions.