Iran Alleges to Have Captured 17 Iranian National Spies Working for CIA to Collect Sensitive Information; Claims to Have Sentenced Some to Death; Trump, Pompeo Say Iran Lying

  • Iran claims to have arrested 17 Iranian spies it says were working for the CIA to spy on the nation’s military and nuclear sites to collect sensitive information.
  • During a press conference in Tehran, the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’s director of counterespionage said “the alleged spies had sophisticated training and worked on sensitive sites.”
  • The statement read on state TV included: “The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centers in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas…where they collected classified information.”
  • According to Iranian officials, all of the arrested are Iranian nationals who have been arrested over the past several months.
  • The counterintelligence director said while some of the captured cooperated with authorities and will receive long sentences, others have already been sentenced to death.
  • According to reports, “the official was identified only as the director of the counterespionage department of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, which is highly unusual in Iran, as officials usually identify themselves at press conferences.”
  • However, President Trump has denied the claims, calling it “propaganda” and “totally false.”
  • Trump tweeted: “The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do. Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!”
  • Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “The Iranian regime has a long history of lying. It’s part of the nature of the ayatollah to lie to the world. I would take with a significant grain of salt any Iranian assertion about actions that they’ve taken.”
  • Tensions have continued to rise between the U.S. and Iran ever since Trump withdrew from the 2015 nuclear deal and reinstated sanctions against the country.
  • Over the past few months, the U.S. has accused Iran of several provocative and hostile incidents, including shooting down a U.S. drone last month. The U.S. retaliated by destroying an Iranian drone.
  • Iran is also at odds with U.S. allies like the U.K. Last week, Iran seized a U.K.-flagged oil tanker to get back at the U.K. for seizing one of its supertankers earlier this month.

Reference Links

  • BBC: Iran says it arrested CIA spies and sentenced some to death READ
  • National Review: Iran Claims It Has Arrested 17 Iranian CIA Spies, Sentenced Some to Death READ
  • New York Post: Iran claims they arrested 17 nationals working with CIA to spy on nuclear, military sites READ
  • Fox: Iran says it dismantled CIA spy ring, arrests 17, sentences some to death: report READ

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