Under NATO’s Article 5, if a member state of the military alliance is attacked by an armed force, all other members must regard the matter as an attack on them, which necessitates their response.
Earlier on Wednesday, Albania announced the severance of relations with Iran and the expulsion of all its diplomats present on its soil, giving them only 24 hours to leave.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said the decision to cut ties with Tehran and expel its diplomats came after an investigation concluded that it was behind a cyber attack on Tirana last July.
“The government has decided, with immediate effect, to terminate diplomatic relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran,” Rama said in a video he sent to the media, according to “Reuters”.
He said that the “extremist” decision was fully proportional to the gravity of the cyber attack that threatened to paralyze public services” in Albania.
He added that the attack also threatened to “wipe out digital systems, hack state records, steal government electronic communications on the internal network, and create chaos and insecurity in the country.”
This is not the first time that Albania has expelled Iranian diplomats, as it expelled two of them in 2020, due to their “activity incompatible with their diplomatic status”, a phrase usually used in the case of espionage.
In 2018, Albania expelled the Iranian ambassador and another diplomat for “harming national security”.
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