Exiled Iran opposition claims state TV hacking

Exiled Iran opposition claims state TV hacking
2 min read
Exiled Iran opposition claims state TV hacking
An exiled Iranian opposition claimed responsibility for the hack [Getty]

An exiled Iranian opposition group on Thursday said its supporters carried out a hacking attack on state television and radio in Iran which saw viewers briefly confronted with slogans in favour of the opposition and denouncing supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

In Tehran, the state broadcaster confirmed that it had been the victim of the attack, saying it lasted just 10 seconds and was being investigated.

According to images posted on social media, viewers in Iran saw their regular programmes interrupted by images of Massoud Rajavi, the founder of the People's Mujahedin (MEK) group, and his wife Maryam Rajavi, who leads its Paris-based political wing the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).

They also saw an image of Khamenei crossed out and heard the slogan "marg ba Khamenei" (death to Khamenei).

"Several of the regime's radio and television stations broadcast these slogans today," a Paris-based spokesman for the NCRI told AFP, saying at least seven state-run radio and TV channels were hit in this way and several others disrupted.

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"It appears it was done by supporters of MEK and the resistance units within the state radio and television," he added, without giving further details.

The ISNA news agency quoted the state broadcaster's deputy head for technology Reza Alidadi as saying that carrying out the attack would have been an "extremely complicated task".

He said that the attack was being investigated and expressed hope that details of the cause and extent of the attack would be announced "as soon as possible".

Iranian state television did not mention the Rajavis in its reporting of the incident, but acknowledged that images had been shown of the "leaders of the hypocrites" (monafeghin in Persian), the moniker usually given to the MEK by Iran's leaders.

The MEK were initially supporters of the Islamic Revolution of 1979 led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini that ousted the shah.

But the group rapidly fell out with the country's new leaders, backed Saddam Hussein in the Iran-Iraq war and were blamed for a string of attacks in the early 1980s including a blast that wounded Khamenei himself.