The stand-off between Iran and the US government has gotten yet another twist, as the Middle East nation has announced that it broke a CIA spying ring and arrested 17 suspects.

An intelligence official claimed that none of the 17 suspects who allegedly had “sophisticated training”, had succeeded in their sabotage missions.

A statement read on state television said: “The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centres in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas… where they collected classified information.”

Also commenting on the arrest of the CIA agents, the head of counter-intelligence at the Iranian intelligence ministry told reporters at Tehran that some of the CIA spies have been sentenced to death.

“We successfully dismantled a (CIA) spy network.  Those who deliberately betrayed the country were handed to the judiciary… some were sentenced to death and some to long-term imprisonment” he said.

The White House is yet to react to the claims made by Iran. This is however coming on the heels of deteriorating relationships between Iran and western nations, including the US and UK.

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