Iran denies it hacked Israel politicians' phones

By Mustafa Kamel

TEHRAN (AA) – Iran on Wednesday denied Israeli reports that Iranian intelligence had hacked several Israeli politicians' cellphones.

"These irrelevant claims [come] to create a hostile atmosphere against Iran," Bahram Qasimi, spokesman for Iran’s Foreign Ministry, told official Iranian News Agency IRNA.

Israeli media reported earlier that Iran had hacked the phone of Benny Gantz, leader of the Blue and White coalition and the archrival of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in next month’s general elections.

The stories were meant for domestic Israeli consumption, Qasimi added.

Netanyahu said Wednesday that Gantz is "panicking" because Iran "stole important things from him."

On Saturday, Israeli party leaders and the Israeli media accused Netanyahu of leaking information about Iran's ability to penetrate Gantz’s cellphone.