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Iran’s oil sector on ‘full alert’ against attacks

Tehran: Iran’s oil minister Sunday ordered his country’s energy sector to be on high alert to the threat of ‘physical and cyber’ attacks.

Bijan Namdar Zanganeh said ‘it is necessary for all companies and installations of the oil industry to be on full alert against physical and cyber threats,’ in a statement published on the oil ministry’s Shana website.

Zanganeh said precautions were needed due to American sanctions and the ‘full-scale economic war’ that the Islamic republic accuses the United States of waging against it.

Washington, Riyadh, Berlin, London and Paris blame Iran for attacks that damaged the Saudi oil sector September 14 and forced the world’s largest crude exporter to sharply reduce production.

Tehran denied any link to the strikes, which were claimed by Huthi rebels in Yemen. Iran supports the rebels against a Saudi-led coalition that has been fighting the Huthis since 2015.

Following the attacks, US President Donald Trump said he was preparing a response. Several days later he endorsed military restraint, signalling his preference for intensifying a ‘maximum pressure’ campaign through economic sanctions.

Iran denied press reports September 21 that its oil installations were disrupted by a cyber attack.

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