On Friday, Tehran hit back on Microsoft’s claims that Iran-based hackers had threatened U.S. presidential campaigns, claiming it doesn’t care about the results of the election.
Microsoft claimed to have disrupted cyber-attacks by Chinese, Russian and Iranian hackers targeting staff from President Donald Trump and his Democratic rival Joe Biden’s campaigns ahead of the November vote.
Both the campaigns of Trump and Biden have been quoted by the media as saying that they are aware that hackers are targeting them.
“The United States, which has been meddling in other countries including Iran’s elections for decades, is nowhere near making such ludicrous statements,” state news agency IRNA quoted Iran’s foreign ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh as saying.
As an example, in a 1953 coup, he pointed to the position of the US Central Intelligence Agency, which overthrew immensely popular prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh, who had called for the nationalisation of Iran’s oil.
It was clear that the November 3 election, Microsoft said on Thursday, “international activity groups have stepped up their efforts to strike”
The company said a group based in Iran called Phosphorus was targeting personal accounts of people affiliated with the Trump campaign.
“For Tehran, who is in the White House doesn’t matter. What matters is Washington’s adherence to international rights, laws and norms, not to intervene with the affairs of others and to act on their commitments,” Khatibzadeh said.
Decades-old tensions have intensified between Tehran and Washington since 2018, when Trump unilaterally removed the US from a multinational deal that restricted Iran’s nuclear programme. Afterwards, Trump re-imposed draconian sanctions on Iran’s economy.
Animosity deepened further after a US drone strike near Baghdad airport in January killed top Iranian general Qasem Soleimani.
Iranian officials have consistently said they do not support a single candidate in the 2020 election, while also pressing for Washington ‘s return to the 2015 nuclear agreement and for sanctions to be lifted.