Iran Says It Has Captured 17 CIA Spies; Some Sentenced to Death

Iran claims to have captured 17 CIA spies and has sentenced some of them to death

Iranian secret services claim to have captured 17 members of a CIA spy ring working against the country, according to state-controlled media.

Some of the CIA agents have been given capital punishement.

All the alleged CIA spies were arrested by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence, according to a report by Fars News Agency.

They were working as private contractors “in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas… where they collected classified information,” the report said.

Reuters.com reports: The announcement comes after three months of spiraling confrontation with the West that began when new tighter U.S. sanctions took effect at the start of May.

Last week Iran captured a British tanker in the Strait of Hormuz after Britain’s Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar in July 4.

“The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centers in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas… where they collected classified information,” said a ministry statement read on state television.

It was not immediately clear if the arrests were linked to the case in which Iran said in June it had exposed a large cyber espionage network it alleged was run by the CIA, and that several U.S. spies had been arrested in different countries as a result of this action.