Denying involvement in a July cyberattack targeting the European country, Iran decried a decision by Albania to sever diplomatic relations with Tehran as “ill-considered” and “short-sighted” on Wednesday.
The Albanian government’s move is “short-sighted in international relations,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani termed in a statement.
Tirana decided to snap diplomatic ties with Iran earlier on Wednesday and ordered Iranian diplomats and embassy staff to leave the country within 24 hours.
The decision to sever ties “with immediate effect” was taken after an investigation into an alleged cyberattack in July, blaming it on Iran, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said.
Rama expressed, “This extreme response … is fully proportionate to the gravity and risk of the cyberattack that threatened to paralyze public services, erase digital systems and hack into state records, steal government intranet electronic communication and stir chaos and insecurity in the country.”
Many Albanian government websites were brought to a grinding halt by the major cyberattack on July 15.
Rama said an investigation found that the attack was “orchestrated and sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran” with involvement of “four group,” further calling it “state aggression.”
Iran was also blamed by the US for the July 15 cyberattack and hacking operations against Albania.