The Iranian government through its Intelligence Ministry on Sunday said they have arrested 17 citizens of the country, and have been sentenced some to death for acting as spies for the United States Central Intelligence Agency amid soaring tension between Tehran and Washington.
In a document made available to CNN, Iran claimed to have broken up a CIA spying ring and captured 17 suspects, all of whom confessed to acting as spies for the CIA.
The document Destiny of Spies read: “Iran’s Intelligence Ministry said in the document: “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.”
“Defendants serving their sentences in prison mentioning tempting promises of CIA officers including emigration to USA, a proper job in America, and money,” the Intelligence Ministry document said.
Informants were supposed to collect classified information “from substantial centres as well as intelligence/technical operations.”
First video released of one of the CIA spies in Iran pic.twitter.com/T9O2LUrq6x
— Reza Khaasteh (@Khaaasteh) July 22, 2019
The announcement comes amid a standoff between Tehran and Western powers following President Donald Trump’s 2018 decision to withdraw from the nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on Iran, and an accelerating series of recent maritime episodes, including Iran’s seizure of a UK-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.
Tensions in the region escalated further over the weekend after Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) captured a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday.
The IRGC accused the vessel of “violating international regulations.”
Britain has warned Iran it would take “robust” action in response as the UK government’s emergency response committee, known as COBRA, meets on Monday to discuss the situation.
Iran’s actions in the strait came just hours after authorities in Gibraltar agreed to extend the detention of an Iranian oil tanker in its custody for 30 days.
The ship– Grace 1– was seized by British authorities on July 4, accused of attempting to transport oil to Syria in violation of European Union sanctions.
It is expected that there will be a rise in global oil price.