Iranian officials said Monday that it has captured 17 people who were allegedly spies working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, NBC news reported.
“We successfully dismantled a (CIA) spy network. Those who deliberately betrayed the country were handed to the judiciary… some were sentenced to death and some to long-term imprisonment”, Iranian Intelligence Ministry said.
A statement on Iranian state television said: “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.”
The Iranian Intelligence Ministry said after a briefing on Monday that the alleged spies were Iranian citizens but trained by the CIA.
It is still unclear when they were arrested.
As tensions continue to rise between Iran and the U.S, NBC news reported that Iranian government occasionally makes similar claims and it was not immediately possible to determine whether they are legitimate. The U.S. government never acknowledges CIA recruitment abroad but President Donald Trump blasted the reported arrests on Twitter as “totally false”, “Zero truth.”
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!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2019
Read more about Iran/U.S relationship through this link