DUBAI Jan 15 Iran can disrupt enemy
communication systems as part of its growing "electronic
warfare" capabilities, a senior Iranian commander was quoted as
saying on Tuesday.
Western analysts say Iran has launched increasingly
sophisticated cyber attacks in a growing confrontation with
foes, including the United States, Israel and Gulf Arabs, at a
time of rising pressure on Tehran to curb its nuclear programme.
For its part, Iran has suffered a string of cyber attacks in
the past year targeting industrial sites, an oil export terminal
and oil platforms, Iranian officials have said.
And a computer worm disrupted its nuclear activity in 2010.
The Islamic Republic has denied accusations that it hacked
into U.S. banks last year, but has also devoted resources to
building up its cyber defence capabilities.
On Tuesday, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, Iran's ground
forces commander, said that Iran was now capable of disrupting
its enemies' communications.
"We have been equipped with electronic warfare systems in
order not to remain just a defending force, and rather become
able to jam the enemy's communication systems," said Brigadier
General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan, Iran's ground forces commander,
according to the Fars news agency.
"Communications are highly valuable in future and current
wars and our armed forces have realised this completely and have
prepared themselves proportionate to today's needs."
It was unclear whether Pourdastan was referring to military
targets that Iran might consider a threat or civilian targets,
such as what it considers to be subversive foreign media.
Satellite operators and broadcasters have repeatedly accused
Iran of jamming their satellite signals. European satellite
provider Eutelsat complained to international regulators last
year that Iran had jammed signals from Persian-language channels
broadcast by the BBC, Voice of America, and other operators.
Iran has tightened online security since its uranium
enrichment centrifuges were hit by the Stuxnet computer worm,
which Iranian authorities believe was planted by Israel and the
United States in a bid to hobble its nuclear programme.
(Reporting by Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Mark Heinrich)