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Iran detains 17 citizens accused of spying for USA; some of them to be executed

ANI  |  Middle East 

Iran's Ministry of Intelligence on Monday said admitted to having detained 17 citizens suspected of spying for the USA's Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Some of the detained suspects have been sentenced to death, CNN quoted the ministry as saying.

The suspected spies were captured after Iran busted a CIA spying ring, according to a ministry document sent to CNN. All of the detained have since confessed to spying for the CIA.

"Defendants serving their sentences in prison mentioning tempting promises of CIA officers including emigration to the USA, a proper job in America, and money," the Intelligence Ministry document stated.

As per the document, the spying was launched to gather classified information "from substantial centres as well as intelligence/technical operations."

"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," the document added.

The announcement comes at a time when tensions are high between Iran and western powers following Washington's exit from the Iran nuclear deal last year.

A series of maritime episodes have further led to a standoff, especially after Iran seized a UK-flagged vessel at the Strait of Hormuz last week.

Tehran has stated that the British ship was "violating international regulations," leading to its seizure. The UK, on the other hand, has demanded the ship's release and threatened Iran with "robust" action.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, July 22 2019. 18:47 IST