WASHINGTON/TEHRAN/MOSCOW (Dispatches) – Iran, Russia and China dismissed on Friday allegations by Microsoft Corp that hackers linked to Moscow, Beijing and Tehran were trying to spy on people tied to both U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden.
In a statement, Iran’s Foreign Ministry strongly dismissed the claim and blasting the United States’ own history of interfering in other countries’ affairs.
"The United States is leading active disinformation campaigns against other countries. The US is not in a position to make such a woeful claim,” ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said.
"The U.S. has interfered for decades in the elections of other countries - including Iran - and orchestrated a coup d’état which overthrew Iran’s democratically elected Prime Minster Muhammad Mossadeq,” he said.
Khatibzadeh said that Tehran has no interest in the outcome of U.S. elections.
"As we have reiterated over and over, it does not matter who is the president in the White House for Tehran. What matters is that Washington abides by international law, regulations and norms and stops interfering in other countries and honors its commitments,” he said.
Washington, which has sought to impose an overt campaign of "maximum pressure” against Iran ever since withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal in 2018, has also sought to stifle Iranian media operating across different social media platforms in recent years.
Facebook, Twitter and Youtube have consequently cracked down on pages belonging to credible Iranian figures and media outlets, closing them or limiting their access to international audiences.
Speaking at a joint press conference in Moscow with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said China has never meddled in U.S. affairs. Lavrov, in turn, said accusations of Russia using hackers to meddle in the United States’ internal affairs were "unsubstantiated”.
"Russia has not interfered, is not interfering and does not intend to interfere in anyone’s internal affairs, or electoral processes,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters separately on Friday.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s top cyber official, Christopher Krebs, claimed that Microsoft’s warning was consistent with earlier statements issued by the intelligence community about Russian, Chinese, and Iranian allegedly spying on election-related targets.
China’s foreign affair ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said earlier on Friday that China has no interest in the U.S. election and has never interfered in it. The U.S. was an "empire of hackers,” he said at his daily news briefing in Beijing.