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Iran says it arrested 17 Iranians allegedly recruited by CIA

Last Updated Jul 22, 2019 at 8:26 am PDT

A woman walks past a mural in a sidewalk in downtown Tehran, Iran, Sunday, July 21, 2019. (AP Photo/Vahid salemi)

Iran says it's arrested 17 Iranians who were reportedly recruited by the CIA to spy on the country

Those arrested worked on 'sensitive sites' in Iran's military and nuclear facilities, an official said

Some of the 17 people arrested have already been sentenced to death

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Iran said Monday it has arrested 17 Iranian nationals allegedly recruited by the Central Intelligence Agency to spy on the country’s nuclear and military sites, and that some of them have already been sentenced to death.

The arrests took place over the past months, and those taken into custody worked on “sensitive sites” in the country’s military and nuclear facilities, an Iranian intelligence official told a press conference in Tehran. He did not elaborate, say how many of them were sentenced to death or when the sentences were handed down.

President Donald Trump tweeted that the claim had “zero truth,” calling Iran a “total mess.”

The announcement comes as Iran’s nuclear deal with world powers is unraveling and tensions have spiked in the Persian Gulf region. The crisis stems from Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the agreement last year and intensify sanctions on the country.