Iran has claimed to have arrested 17 CIA recruits who were spying on the Iranian government. It said that some of these alleged spies would be executed.
In a document supplied to CNN, Iran's intelligence ministry said:
Defendants serving their sentences in prison mentioning tempting promises of CIA officers including emigration to USA, a proper job in America, and money.
The document claimed that these people were trying to gather classified information "from substantial centers as well as intelligence/technical operations."
These 17 alleged spires were Iranian citizens. They were arrested sometime during the last Iranian calendar year, which ended in March.
The document continued:
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.
In addition to the document, the Iranian government released a video via Iranian media giving its side of the story. The video included photographs of the accused spies.
According to the Associated Press, Iran periodically announces that it has captured spies from various countries.
In a tweet on Monday, Trump said "[t]he Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. 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!"
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also warned against accepting information from the Iranians at face value. In an interview on "Fox & Friends," he noted that "the Iranian regime has a long history of lying."
This announcement comes only days after Iran captured a British oil tanker. This was in response to the United Kingdom seizing an Iranian oil tanker that it had suspected of bypassing sanctions on Syria.