Iranian security forces have identified and destroyed an integrated network of operatives serving the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) inside the country, the Intelligence Ministry reported on July 22.
According to the Fars news agency citing the Ministry’s director-general for counterintelligence, Iran captured 17 professional spies working on behalf of the CIA throughout last year and some of those arrested had been handed death sentences. The detained suspects were operating in key organizations and institutions mainly in the private sector.
“The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centers in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas… where they collected classified information,” the unnamed official said.
The report said that the CIA had recruited its operatives by mainly contacting them over the internet. Other tactics included issuing or renewing US visas, hiring Iranian specialists, providing necessary equipment and access to certain participants in scientific events abroad, sending emails and messaging through social media.
In June, the Intelligence Ministry said it had “penetrated the US safe system in cyberspace,” which the CIA has used for maintaining communication with the spies.
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