A hacking group that has been linked to Israel has claimed it has “disabled the majority of gas pumps throughout Iran”, news The Times of Israel reported on Monday. The group known as “Gonjeshke Darande,” or “predatory sparrow” said, “This cyberattack comes in response to the aggression of the Islamic Republic and its proxies in the region.”
“Khamenei, playing with fire has a price,” it added in statements in Persian and English.
News agency Reuters, citing oil minister Javad Owji, reported that services have been disrupted at about 70% of Iran’s petrol stations, adding that outside interference is a possibility.
“At least 30% of gas stations are working, with the rest gradually resolving the disruption in services,” Owji said.
From early this morning, several petrol stations across Iran, particularly in the capital, have faced disruption.
“A software problem with the fuel system has been confirmed in some stations across the country and experts are currently fixing the issue,” Reza Navar, spokesperson for Iran’s gas stations association, told the semi-official Fars news agency.
Fars added that the possibility of a cyberattack has not been ruled out.
In late 2021 a major cyberattack in Iran disrupted the sale of fuel, causing long queues at gas stations across the country. Petrol pump prices in Iran are heavily subsidised.
Iran had accused Israel and the United States of being behind the attack.
Navar on Monday emphasised there is no fuel supply shortage but called on car users not to go to petrol stations.
The oil ministry also told state TV that the disruption is in no way link to any plan to increase the price of fuel, a policy that caused widespread protests in 2019 and led to violent repression.
State TV is saying that petrol stations are seeking to provide fuel manually and that it will take a few hours at least to resolve the problems.