Albania cuts diplomatic ties with Iran over cyberattack

Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama speaks during the Wine Vision fair, part of the "Open Balkan" economic forum for regional cooperation in Belgrade, Serbia, Sept 1, 2022. (DARKO VOJINOVIC / AP)

TIRANA – Albania has decided to terminate diplomatic ties with Iran after authorities found that Iran was behind the July 15 cyberattack on Albania's official government websites, the country’s prime minister announced on Wednesday.

Edi Rama made the announcement via a video message posted on social media. 

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He also requested the diplomatic staff of the embassy of Iran to leave Albania within 24 hours.

On July 15, the National Information Society Agency announced that Albania was experiencing a cyberattack coming from outside the country

"The Council of Ministers has decided with immediate effect the termination of diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran. This decision has been made known by official note to the embassy of Iran, in which it has requested the diplomatic and technical-administrative staff, including security personnel to leave the territory of Albania within 24 hours," he said.

The "forced" decision by the government of Albania was taken due to the unprovoked and unjustified act orchestrated by Iran, aiming to destroy "the digital infrastructure of the government of Albania, to paralyze all public services, as well as the theft of data and electronic communications from government systems”, said Rama.

On July 15, Albania's National Information Society Agency announced that the country was experiencing a cyberattack coming from outside the country.

The cyberattack also affected the work of the online e-Albania government portal, which offers electronic services to Albanian citizens and foreigners in the country.