Iran ‘Not Surprised’ by Reports of Spying on Nuclear Talks

June 12, 2015  

Iran’s envoy to the UN nuclear watchdog agency on Thursday said his country was “not surprised” by reports that a cyber-espionage campaign targeted hotels that hosted nuclear talks between Iran and world powers, The Associated Press (AP) reported.

Reza Najafi was quoted as having told Iran’s state TV that Iranian nuclear negotiators took “precautionary measures” to protect their secrets.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday that Israel attempted to use a sophisticated virus to spy on nuclear talks between Iran and P5+1 by hacking into the servers of hotels where talks were being held.

Cybersecurity firm Kaspersky Lab ZAO found the hotels on a list of European servers hacked by the virus, identified as a version of Duqu, while scanning its own systems after finding it had been hacked.

Thousands of other hotels were clean, it told the newspaper, and the firm later deduced that the nuclear talks were the only common denominator for the luxury hotels.

Israel vehemently denied the report, with Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan calling the allegations “utter nonsense. Israel does not use such methods, and we already have sufficient methods to find out what is going on in the talks” without having to resort to hacking.

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely also denied that Israel spied on the talks.

“There is no basis for the reports on Israel’s involvement in this. It is much more important to us to prevent a bad agreement from being signed. Otherwise we will find ourselves under an Iranian ‘nuclear umbrella,’” she told Army Radio on Thursday.

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