Iran claims they arrested 17 nationals working with CIA to spy on nuclear, military sites

Iran said Monday that it arrested 17 nationals working for the CIA to spy on the Islamic Republic’s nuclear and military sites – and that some have been sentenced to death, according to reports.

Authorities “successfully dismantled a (CIA) spy network,” the head of counter-intelligence at the Iranian intelligence ministry told reporters in Tehran.

“Those who deliberately betrayed the country were handed to the judiciary… some were sentenced to death and some to long-term imprisonment,” said the official, whose identity was not revealed.

The official also claimed the CIA had promised those arrested American visas or jobs in the US — and that some of the operatives had turned and were now working with his department “against the US.”

He also provided a CD with a video recording of an alleged foreign female spy working for the US spy agency. The disc also included names of several US Embassy staff in Turkey, India, Zimbabwe and Austria who Iran claims were in contact with the recruited spies.

The suspects were rounded up between March 2018 and March of this year, according to the official.

President Trump shot down Iran’s allegations, calling them “totally false” in a tweet.

“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!” the president wrote Monday morning.

The announcement comes amid mounting tensions between Tehran and Washington after President Trump in May 2018 unilaterally withdrew the US from the landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

The US administration has since reimposed crippling sanctions on Iran, which retaliated by increasing its enrichment of uranium exceeding the limits set by the nuclear accord.

In June, the president called off a retaliatory strike against Iran at the last minutes after it downed a US drone.

Tensions further escalated July 4 when British forces seized an Iranian tanker on suspicion that it was shipping oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.

Iran’s Revolutionary Guards then seized a UK-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz.

The UK has warned that it would take “robust” action in response. The British government’s emergency response committee — known as COBRA – planned to discuss the situation on Monday.

An Iranian Intelligence Ministry document sent to CNN claims all of the 17 arrested suspects confessed to acting as spies for the CIA.

“Defendants serving their sentences in prison mentioning tempting promises of CIA officers including emigration to USA, a proper job in America, and money,” the document said.

It added that their mission was to collect classified information “from substantial centers as well as intelligence/technical operations,” according to CNN.

The Intelligence Ministry added: “Individuals who consciously and deliberately betrayed the country and refused to compensate for the losses have been handed over to the judiciary system. Others, who honestly cooperated with the security system and their remorsefulness have been proved, have been managed with intelligence direction against Americans.”

With Post Wires

Source: Read Full Article