An Israeli deputy minister has denied his country was involved in the a dissemination of a computer virus targeting venues linked to international talks on Iran's nuclear programme.
The Russia-based Kaspersky Lab had said spyware was found in three European hotels that hosted negotiations involving Iran and six world powers regarding a proposed nuclear deal, and also on the company's own computers.
The Iran nuclear deal is scheduled to be finalised on June 30. The deal emphasises the importance of peaceful nuclear research for Iran, and reaffirms the country’s commit not to embark on nuclear weapons development, In return the crippling sanctions imposed on the country’s economy will be lifted.
Both Kaspersky and US security company Symantec have said the virus shares some similarities with a previously discovered espionage software named Duqu, thought to have been developed by Israelis.
Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has denied Israel was involved. "The international reports of Israeli involvement in the matter are baseless," she told Army Radio. Israeli authorities refrained from commenting at first.
"What is much more important is that we prevent a bad agreement where at the end of the day we find ourselves with a Iranian nuclear umbrella," she said.
Israel has long been outspoken about its concern over Iran’s nuclear talks, fearing its place as the Middle East’s only nuclear power could be compromised.
Iran has always stated it is conducting nuclear energy research for peaceful purposes including producing electricity and medical isotopes.