The relations between Iran and the Western world have been deteriorating ever since Israel and US launched a diplomatic offensive against the country’s alleged ambitions at nuclear arsenal. Now, British Broadcast Corporation (BBC), the largest broadcaster in the world, is claiming that the Iranian authorities have launched a number of cyber-attacks against BBC’s Persian service in a bid to disrupt it.
The cyber-attack, according to BBC, was focused on jamming the satellite feeds into Iran. Automated phone calls were aimed at BBC’s London headquarters to disrupt the transmission there. According to BBC’s director general Mark Thompson, “There was a day recently when there was a simultaneous attempt to jam two different satellite feeds of BBC Persian into Iran, to disrupt the service’s London phone lines by the use of multiple automatic calls, and a sophisticated cyber-attack on the BBC.” He said to in a speech in the wake of the cyber-attack from Iran.
His speech further read, “It is difficult, and may prove impossible, to confirm the source of these attacks, though attempted jamming of BBC services into Iran is nothing new and we regard the coincidence of these different attacks as self-evidently suspicious.”
BBC is officially banned from entering in Iran or broadcasting from there. However, content from BBC still becomes somehow available when illegal satellite receivers pick it up from London. BBC personnel have also been found entering regions where they are legally prohibited by Iran from entering. Naturally, this has resulted in a relationship between BBC and Iran which is not very rosy. To this, the deteriorating relations between UK and Iran only added more fuel recently.
Thompson further is of the opinion that Iran has been using state-endorsed harassing tactics against the journalists on ground, “Arrest without charge, solitary confinement, threats and inducements to persuade their relations either to leave the service or to inform on it secretly to Iranian intelligence: this is how the Iranian government is trying to undermine the BBC Persian Service.”