Middle East

Iran's Raisi says cyberattack on fuel sector designed to 'make nation angry'

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DUBAI, Oct 27 (Reuters) - A cyberattack which disrupted the sale of heavily subsidised gasoline across the Islamic Republic was designed to create "disorder and disruption", Iran's President Ebrahim Raisi said on Wednesday.

"We need to be equipped and prepared against cyberattacks," Iranian state media quoted Raisi as saying.

"Some people intend to make our nation angry by creating disorder and disruption in their lives," he said without elaborating.

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The disruptions on Tuesday came ahead of the second anniversary of bloody protests in Iran over a sharp increase in fuel prices in November 2019 that turned political with protesters demanding the country's top rulers to step down.

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A man fills up his car's tank at a petrol station, after fuel price increased in Tehran, Iran November 15, 2019. Nazanin Tabatabaee/WANA (West Asia News Agency) via REUTERS

Iranian authorities said fuel distribution will return to normal in a few hours, state TV reported.

Oil Minister Javad Owji said 3,000 of the 4,300 gas stations affected across the country had resumed normal activities.

In the past Tehran has blamed the United States and Israel for a series of online assaults. In July, the website of the transport ministry was taken down by what state media said was a "cyber disruption".

The same month, Iran's train services were delayed by apparent cyberattacks, with hackers posting the phone number of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's office as the number to call for information.

Some Western countries have accused Iran of trying to disrupt and break into their networks.

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Reporting by Dubai newsroom, Parisa Hafezi; Editing by Alison Williams and Mike Harrison

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