Iran's oil minister on Sunday called for greater vigilance against both physical and cyber threats on the country's oil assets following reports of a Sept. 21 cyber attack on Iran's petrochemical facilities.
In a message conveyed during Iran's National Firefighting and Security Day, Iranian Oil Minister Bijen Namdar Zengene called for the petroleum industry to be alert given that this industry is the "country's main source of income and the driving force of the global petroleum industry" amid the heightened tension with the U.S. in the Gulf region.
"Under these circumstances, all oil companies and facilities should be fully vigilant against physical and cyber attacks. All administrative, technical and operational security measures should be taken to protect physical capital and oil facilities,” he said.
Although the authority in charge of cyber security denied that the attack on Sept. 21 was successful, Tehran is inspecting security at key Gulf oil and gas facilities, after media reports said that Washington could target Iran via cyber attacks following the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia’s oil facilities.
After the drone attacks on two of Saudi Arabia's key oil facilities, Saudi Arabia and the U.S. blamed Iran, which Tehran has denied.
In June, tensions ratcheted up between the U.S. and Iran after two oil tankers were attacked in the Strait of Hormuz.
The U.S. held Iran responsible for the attacks and accused Tehran of destroying navigation devices in waters, both accusations of which Iran has refuted.
The relationship between the two countries has grown more tense since 2018, when the U.S. unilaterally withdrew from a nuclear deal with Tehran, despite international opposition.
Iran insists that Europe must provide it additional economic support if they want to save the Iranian nuclear program agreement, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the culmination of 20 months of negotiations, after the U.S. pulled out.
By Busranur Begcecanli