Iran has arrested 17 citizens accused of spying for the United States Central Intelligence Agency, CIA.
The announcement comes as nuclear and military tensions between Tehran and the West continue to mount.
Iran’s intelligence ministry said the suspects were employed in “vital private sector centers in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas,” where they “collected classified information.”
The ministry claims the CIA recruited some of the spies by offering to aid them with the US visa application process and promises of permanent residence permits. The Iranian nationals were also assured of their safety in Iran and abroad.
“Defendants serving their sentences in prison mentioning tempting promises of CIA officers including emigration to USA, a proper job in America, and money,” a document released by the ministry partly read.
It further added that the spy mission was to collect classified information “from substantial centers as well as intelligence/technical operations.”
The ministry said some of the 17 will be executed.