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Intelligence Minister Says Iran Identified Tens of US 'spies'

IRAN -- Iranian Intelligence Minister Mahmud Alavi attends a public funeral ceremony for those killed during an attack on a military parade on the weekend, in the southwestern Iranian city of Ahvaz, September 24, 2018

Iran's Intelligence Minister Mahmoud Alavi has claimed on Friday that his officers have identified tens of U.S. spies outside Iran.

Speaking before the Friday prayers in Tehran on April 19, Alavi said his ministry has identified "290 CIA spies" in various countries, Iranian official news agency IRNA quoted him as saying.

Alavi said: "CIA spies were identified and arrested and the agency's communications with its informers have been disrupted," but did not say how, where and when.

Nevertheless, he claimed that the United States has set up a "defeat committee" following the development.

The Iranian Intelligence Minister added that the ministry has changed his defensive approach to an "offensive and aggressive" one and has given hard blows to foreign intelligence services, without naming any particular country.

The statement by Iran's Intelligence Minister came one day after CIA director Gina Haspel said the agency has boosted its focus on Russia and Iran.