President Donald Trump denied claims on Monday that Iran has dismantled a CIA spy ring in the country, slamming the allegations as “totally false.”
“The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth,” the president wrote on Twitter. “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!”:
Earlier Monday, CNN reported, citing documents purportedly from Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence document, that 17 people were arrested on charges of working with the CIA. Several of those detained will be put to death, the repressive Islamic government claimed.
Appearing Monday on Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed the report, pointing to Iran’s “long history of lying.”
“It’s part of the nature of the Ayatollah to lie to the world,” the top Trump administration official added. “I would take with a significant grain of salt any Iranian assertion about actions that they’ve taken.”
Iran’s latest claims come as tensions between the U.S. and the Islamic republic continue to flare. Last week, President Trump announced that the U.S. destroyed an Iranian drone that was flying around 1,000 yards from a Navy ship. The move followed news that Iran shot down a U.S. surveillance drone that the regime claimed was flying over its airspace.
Iran also seized a British oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last week, prompting another diplomatic crisis between the two countries.