Spy vs. Spy: Iran Claims ‘Big’ CIA Network Dismantled and ‘Spies’ Arrested

In this photo released by the official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani speaks in a ceremony at Imam Khomeini International Airport some 25 miles (40 kilometers) south of the capital Tehran, Iran, Tuesday, June 18, 2019. President Rouhani says his country is not …
Iranian Presidency Office via AP

Iran claimed Tuesday it had discovered and dismantled a “big” American spy operation on its territory, with links to the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency destroyed in the process.

No evidence was offered to back up the allegations.

“Following clues in the American intelligence services, we recently found the new recruits Americans had hired and dismantled a new network,” state news agency IRNA said, quoting an intelligence ministry official. The report added:

The director of anti-espionage department of the Intelligence Ministry said that the department adopted advanced professional approach to identify spies inside the country with full command and superiority over any spy networks.

It said some members of the CIA network had been arrested and handed over to the judiciary, while others still required “additional investigations”.

In what it alleged was a “wide-reaching blow” to U.S. intelligence, IRNA said Tehran had carried out the operation in cooperation with “foreign allies”, without naming any state.

In a program aired on Tuesday, Iranian state television gave details of a 2013 operation to dismantle another CIA network.

The allegations of spying come as Iran and the U.S. continue to spar over who was responsible for the recent string of oil tanker attacks in the Gulf of Oman.

They also background President Hassan Rouhani’s claim on Tuesday that Iran is not seeking to “wage war” against any foe.

“We do not wage war with any nation,” Rouhani said, speaking during the inauguration of a new terminal at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport that will raise its capacity from 8 million to 13 million passengers a year.

AFP contributed to this report

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