ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iran’s Intelligence Ministry on Monday announced they had detained 17 spies, “trained by the CIA” and reportedly operating inside the country, with some of them already sentenced to death.
The statement was delivered during a press conference held by the director-general of the intelligence ministry's counterespionage department in Tehran.
He claimed security agencies on Thursday “successfully dismantled” what he described as a CIA “spy network.”
“Some were sentenced to death and some to long-term imprisonment,” the official, whose name was not mentioned by Iranian local media, added.
“The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centers related to the economy, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber security... where they collected classified information,” according to the Intelligence Ministry of Iran.
The Ministry also released photos and documents of the detainees accusing them of spying in the country.
There have been no immediate comments from CIA officials about the case.
The arrests comes amidst serious tensions between the US and Iran, which have considerably escalated over the past year, namely after the US withdrew from nuclear deal and imposed sanctions on the country.
Editing by Nadia Riva