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Trump Rejects Iran's Claims Of Captured ‘CIA Spies’, As Iran Airs Misleading Images

Iran -- The Ministry of Intelligence and National Security, logo, undated
Iran -- The Ministry of Intelligence and National Security, logo, undated

Iran’s Intelligence Ministry has claimed once again that it has arrested 17 individuals “on the charges of spying for the CIA” and that some of them have been condemned to death.

A website close to the Iranian state TV has uploaded a video said to be about an operation in 2018. The video is packed with footage lifted from movies and TV series, doctored images, and a narration highlighted with the typical boastful wishful thinking of the Iranian intelligence community about its “outstanding achievements.

Semi-official news agency ISNA reported on Monday July 22 quoting the intelligence ministry as having said that it has “demolished a network of spies linked to the agency.”

The report says that some of those detained have been convicted of “spreading corruption on the Earth,” a charge that entails death sentence.

The Ministry’s un-named counter-intelligence chief has told ISNA that the detainees operated as individual cells and were not linked to each other.

He said those identified as spies were “experts” working with sensitive economic, nuclear, military and cyber organizations or private contractors that worked with those organizations as consultant.

The official claimed that that CIA officers had approached these experts in conferences in other countries.

He added that there are no agents among those arrested on charges of espionage.

The Intelligence Ministry had made similar claims previously, most recently on June 19 when the Counter-Intelligence Chief said Tehran has executed a number of online spies linked to the United states, without providing much detail.

The official said that Iran has "successfully" clamped down on "cyber-spies" he claimed were linked to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), ISNA reported.

On Monday, Iran’s hardline media published photos of a family and a short dubbed and doctored video of a young woman saying that the Iranian intelligence is watching everyone.

The Iranian state TV has promised to air footage of the spies Monday evening. The footage has already been uploaded on the website of Young Journalists Club, an affiliate of the state TV.

In Tweet on July 22 U.S. President Donald Trump rejected Iran's claims as "totally false."