Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence claimed that it had detained 17 “CIA spies” and that some of them had been sentenced to death.
The state-run Mehr News Agency said that Ministry’s Anti-espionage Department “had succeeded in destroying a spy network linked to the US intelligence agency”.
According to the report, some of the detainees have been sentenced to death on charges of “corruption on earth”.
The head of the Anti-espionage Department, who was not named, said that these people “worked as cells in Iran and were not in contact with each other”.
“The identified spies include people employed in sensitive and vital centers and also as contractors or consultants in the private sector linked to these centers,” the intelligence official said.
The official said that the “sensitive and vital centers included economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas.”
He said that the detainees were not officials adding that “CIA agents” had gotten close to them “under diplomatic titles in scientific conferences in Europe, Africa and Asia.”
The head of the Ministry of Intelligence’s Anti-Espionage Department said that the Ministry first announced the arrests of the “CIA spies” on June 18.
The official said that the “CIA spies” were not able to carry out their “missions” before being arrested. These so-called missions include “gathering classified information from important centers, carrying out technical-intelligence and sabotage operations at sensitive centers”.
He said that in prison, the detainees had “confessed that CIA agents gave them tempting promises, including immigration to the United States, a decent job and money”.
Iran usually uses coercion including physical and mental torture to draw false “confessions” from detainees.
US President Trump called Iran’s claims of capturing CIA spies “totally false” in a tweet today.