Iranian officials are claiming that the country was recently hit by targeted attacks that affected Internet access nationwide.

"'Yesterday we had a heavy attack against the country's infrastructure and communications companies which has forced us to limit the Internet,' Mehdi Akhavan Behabadi, secretary of the High Council of Cyberspace, told the Iranian Labour News Agency," writes Reuters' Yeganeh Torbati. "'Presently we have constant cyber attacks in the country. Yesterday an attack with a traffic of several gigabytes hit the Internet infrastructure, which caused an unwanted slowness in the country's Internet,' he said."

"Iran says the attacks are organized and coordinated and that they target its industry and strategic assets, such as its nuclear program, oil companies and IT services," writes Softpedia's Eduard Kovacs.

"This incident is merely the latest in an increasingly long line of attacks targeting the Islamic Republic," writes Threatpost's Brian Donohue. "It has long been speculated that western powers, the U.S. and Israel in particular, were responsible for many of the attacks that are widely believed to be a response to Iran’s controversial nuclear program. "

"While it's no secret that the country's enemies want to slow down what they see as a rush towards nuclear weapons, it's difficult to know how much of the accusation is serious versus bluster: we've seen individual smartphone users who consume more than the 'several gigabytes' of traffic that reportedly caused national chaos in the most recent incident," writes Engadget's Jon Fingas. "No matter the exact nature, it's likely that residents stand to lose as Iran fences off the internet to keep outside influences, hostile and otherwise, from getting in."

"Last week, the Islamic republic cut citizens' access to Gmail and the secure version of Google Search," writes TechNewsDaily's Ben Weitzenkorn. "Gmail has since been restored, but the country is notorious for routinely, if intermittently, blocking social networking and information-sharing sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube."