Iran arrests 17 professional CIA spies

Iranian Intelligence Ministry breaks up CIA spy ring

July 22, 2019

TEHRAN – Iran’s Intelligence Ministry announced on Monday that it had broken up a CIA spy ring and arrested 17 professional spies, some of whom have been sentenced to death by the Judiciary.

According to the director general of the Intelligence Ministry’s counter-espionage department, the spies were employed in sensitive and vital state and private sectors in economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber centers, where they collected classified information.

“Some citizens were trapped by the U.S. exploitation of their visa requests and were encouraged to spy in exchange for receiving a visa,” the official said. “Some others were blackmailed by the CIA due to their need of maintaining or extending their visas.”

The official added that the move was in violation of the United States’ laws and some of the CIA’s victims succeeded to escape from the trap with the help of their lawyers.

None of the 17 arrested individuals were citizens of other countries, the official stated.

He also said since President Donald Trump assumed office, the United States’ espionage measures against the Islamic Republic have intensified.

Judiciary spokesman Gholam Hossein Esmaili has said the death sentence against a number of the spies, who betrayed their homeland, will be carried out soon.

Esmaili said those on the death row were convicted of espionage at an extent that constitutes spreading “corruption on earth”, a term used to describe capital crimes within the Islamic Republic’s judicial system.

The news follows Tehran’s announcement on June 17 that the country had dismantled a CIA-run “large U.S. cyber-espionage” network.

According to secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, the cooperation between the Islamic Republic of Iran and other countries has led to “the disclosure and dismantling of a network of CIA officers, as well as the detention and punishment of several spies.”

MH/PA

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