The White House has warned of future actions against Iran as Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence directed several networks of cyber threats and cyberattacks against Albania to paralyse its public services and hack data as well as electronic communication systems.

Albania, a NATO member, cut diplomatic ties with Iran and expelled its embassy staff over the cyberattack. NATO allies will make their own sovereign decisions on cyberattacks, including whether to invoke Article 5 or not, as an attack on any NATO member is an attack on all members. Allies also recognise that the cumulative impact of significant malicious cyber activities may be considered an armed attack.

Karine Jean Pierre, White House press secretary, stated that our role here is to support Albania’s efforts to hold Iran accountable and support Albania in strengthening its cybersecurity and re-enforcing responsible behaviour in cyberspace. The NATO official said a cyberattack against an ally qualifies for a collective response by NATO.

Iran and Albania have been riddled with hostilities since the latter began hosting members of the opposition People’s Mujahedeen of Iran on their soil. The US has sent a strategic message demanding to get on board with the revival of the JCPOA, which is also known as the Iran nuclear deal. Washington’s motive is to punish Iran for complicating negotiations meant to revive the nuclear deal. NATO has been entirely focused on Russia, but now that it is threatening Iran, it may take on new challenges.

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– MAS Rohan (Legal Intern, WCSF) 

Edited by: Sabrina Bath

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