DUBAI - Iran denied its hackers attacked American banks, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Sunday, following a Reuters report that three of the largest American lenders were repeatedly targeted over the past year.

The hacking of websites and corporate networks at Bank of America Corp, JPMorgan Chase & Co and Citigroup Inc began in late 2011 and escalated this year, people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

"We officially announce that we haven't had any attacks," Head of Iran's civil defence agency Gholam Reza Jalali told Fars, when asked about the report.

Reuters reported the hackers targeted the three banks in retaliation for their enforcement of Western economic sanctions against Iran's disputed nuclear programme.

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