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Iran condemns US sanctions against Intelligence Ministry

The logo of the Intelligence Ministry of the Islamic Republic of Iran

The spokesman for Iran's Foreign Ministry has condemned the United State's move to impose sanctions against the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and its minister.

Nasser Kan’ani said on Saturday the fact that the US threw its immediate support behind  Albania’s baseless accusations against Iran and imposed new sanctions on Tehran show that Washington itself is behind the cyber attacks which targeted the Balkan country.

On Wednesday, Albania severed diplomatic ties with Tehran, accusing it of orchestrating a "cyberattack" against Tirana and ordering Iranian diplomats and embassy staff to leave within 24 hours.

Two days later, the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said it had designated Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and its Minister of Intelligence for what it called engaging in cyber-enabled activities against the United States and its allies.

“Such scenario has been created by the US administration, not the government of Albania, and Tirana has fallen victim to the scenario that Washington has invented itself against the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Kan’ani said.

He went on to say the fresh sanctions, just like the previous illegal US actions against the Iranian ministry, would not prevent its personnel by any means from serving the Iranian people and ensuring their security.

The Iranian diplomat also censured Washington for forcing the Albanian government and nation to host members of the terrorist Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO), providing all-out support for the terrorists, and equipping and training them in the cyber technology.

He said the criminal MKO group continues to act as a tool of the US in carrying out terrorist operations, cyber attacks, and psychological warfare against the Iranian government and people.

“The Albanian government’s hosting of a terrorist cult and the US government’s support for a group that has the blood of over 17,000 Iranian statesmen and citizens on its hands constitute a blatant example of organized support for terrorists acting against the Iranian government and nation,” Kan’ani stated.

The spokesman noted that Tehran will use all its capacities within the framework of the international law to restore the rights of the Iranian nation and protect itself against those sinister plots.

Albania took in around 3,000 members of the MKO terrorist group in 2016 at the request of Washington, after the group was disowned by Iraq and snubbed by many European countries.

The anti-Iran terrorist group based in Albania has carried out numerous acts of terrorism on Iranian soil since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, killing senior political leaders, clerics and ordinary civilians.

The European Union, Canada, the United States, and Japan had previously listed the MKO as a "terrorist organization".

In 2012, the group was taken off the US list of terrorist organizations. The EU followed the suit, removing the group from its list of terrorist organizations. 

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