Iran claims Rouhani's mobile phone was tapped

Iranian officials say President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone was tapped. No further details provided.

Elad Benari,

Hassan Rouhani
Hassan Rouhani

Iranian officials said on Monday that President Hassan Rouhani’s mobile phone was tapped, reported The Associated Press.

No details were provided on who was behind the tapping or what information they might have gleaned.

The semi-official ISNA news agency quoted Gen. Gholam Reza Jalali, the head of a military unit charged with combatting sabotage, as saying Rouhani’s phone was tapped “recently” and would be replaced with a more secure device. He did not provide further details.

Iran moved to boost its cyber capabilities in 2011 after the Stuxnet computer virus destroyed thousands of centrifuges involved in its nuclear program.

Stuxnet is widely believed to be an American and Israeli creation, though Israel did not admit it. A 2012 report said that then-US President Barack Obama ordered the Stuxnet virus attack on Iran as part of a wave of cyber sabotage and espionage against the Islamic Republic.

In addition, Iran regularly says it captured spies, and sometimes those are sentenced to death. In August, the Islamic Republic arrested dozens of spies working for state bodies, many of them dual nationals.

Earlier this month, a court in Iran sentenced a dual national man to eight and a half years in prison after finding him guilty of infiltration of important governmental bodies.