U.S. President Donald Trump staunchly rejected Monday Iran's claim that it has broken up a CIA spy ring, and has sentenced some of those individuals to death.
"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," Trump wrote on Twitter. "Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse."
An official from Iran's intelligence ministry was earlier Monday quoted by the semi-official Fars news agency as saying the 17 detained individuals, who were captured last year, "had all received interrogation techniques and were tasked with spying on the country's sensitive centers".
According to the official, the captured spies were working in sensitive and vital positions in economic, nuclear, infrastructure, military and cyber sectors, as well as associated private sector.
The Iranian official, who was not named during a highly unusual briefing by a top Iranian intelligence official, said the CIA agents contacted Iranian citizens on the sidelines of scientific conferences in Europe, Africa and Asia, where they requested their cooperation in intelligence gathering operations.
He said the arrested spies were working as single cells in Iran and were not in contact with each other and each was supervised by a CIA officer.
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