Iran claims it discovered, busted a CIA spy network

General says ‘videos and confessions’ will be published at a later date, boasts Tehran and its allies have formed an ‘international anti-spying network’ against US

Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in Tehran, Iran, January 17, 2017. (Ebrahim Noroozi/ AP/ File)
Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani in Tehran, Iran, January 17, 2017. (Ebrahim Noroozi/ AP/ File)

An Iranian general claimed Monday that its security forces have discovered and dismantled an elaborate CIA spy network, saying further details would be published in the “near future.”

Ali Shamkhani, the secretary of the country’s Supreme National Security Council, added that Iran and some of its allies have formed an “international anti-spying network” against the United States, according to Iran’s Mehr news agency.

Shamkhani said Tehran’s Intelligence Ministry would publish “related videos and confessions in the near future,” the report said.

“We provided the information on the exposed network to some other allied countries in which it had been operating which resulted in the exposing and dismantling of the US intelligence officers network and arrest and conviction of some CIA agents in different countries,” he added.

Iran and the United States broke diplomatic ties in 1980 in the aftermath of the Islamic revolution. Relations have deteriorated sharply since US President Donald Trump took office in January 2017, and particularly since the United States last year withdrew from the 2015 nuclear treaty that Iran reached with major world powers.

Tensions have intensified since April when the US added Iran’s Revolutionary Guards to its blacklist of terrorist organizations and strengthened sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran (L), US President Donald Trump at the White House (Office of the Iranian Supreme Leader via AP, AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON)

The standoff has worsened in recent weeks, after the US military announced it was dispatching reinforcements to the Middle East in response to alleged “Iranian threats” as well as the sabotage of four ships at the entrance to the Gulf on May 12.

Washington and Riyadh have accused Tehran of being behind those attacks — as well of separate attacks last week on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman — charges it has dismissed as “laughable.”

Last week, the Islamic Republic freed a Lebanese man detained in 2015 on charges of spying for the US, a gesture that came amid soaring tensions between Tehran and Washington.

A US resident in his 50s, Nizar Zakka was arrested in September 2015, during a visit to Iran, where he was convicted the following July.

He is the head of The Arab ICT Organization, a non-profit that advocates the growth and development of information and communications technology in the Middle East.

AFP contributed to this report.

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