Iran

Iran Says It Has Arrested Alleged U.S. Spies; Some Face Death Penalty

7/22/19
from The Wall Street Journal,
7/22/19:

Iranian official claims the alleged CIA plan was part of the Trump administration’s pressure strategy against Tehran.

Iran said it has arrested 17 Iranian citizens on charges of spying for the U.S., a claim that President Trump dismissed as “totally false,” amid fears that growing tensions between Iran and Western countries could spiral out of control. Iran’s announcement comes after weeks of growing acrimony, which most recently saw Iran seize a British-flagged oil tanker in the Persian Gulf last week. An Iranian official who identified himself only as the director-general of counterintelligence for Iran’s intelligence ministry told reporters Monday that the prisoners worked at critical military and nuclear facilities.

The CIA declined to comment. A senior U.S. administration official said Monday, “We don’t comment on intelligence activities.” But President Trump took to Twitter to dismiss the claims that Iran had captured CIA spies. “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!” he said. The State Department didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Iran didn’t provide supporting evidence for the allegations, but the intelligence ministry official claimed the CIA plan was part of the Trump administration’s pressure strategy against Tehran.

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