Top Iranian Official Claims Iran Hacked Gantz, Netanyahu Family Phones
Iran’s Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda claimed on Friday that Iranian cyber-attacks managed to hack not only the cell phone of the man challenging Binyamin Netanyahu for the role of prime minister of Israel, but also the phones of Netanyahu and members of his family. Alamolhoda’s claim was mentioned in a report by Iran’s Radio Farda. On March 14, Israel’s Channel 12 news reported that Iran had hacked the phone of Benny Gantz, whose Blue and White party has at times surpassed Netanyahu’s Likud in opinion polls going into the April 9 elections. Gantz said he had been informed of the hack by Israeli intelligence but that there was nothing of consequence on the phone, and that the affair was being used solely for political reasons. Later, Iran’s official news agency IRNA reported a Foreign Ministry spokesperson as denying that Tehran had hacked Gantz’s phone, claiming that Israel was merely seeking to “promote Iranophobia” and “create a hostile atmosphere” against the Islamic Republic. On March 19, Netanyahu’s office denied a Saudi Arabian media report saying the phones of his wife and son had also been hacked by Iran.