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Iran announces breakup of ‘CIA spy ring,’ some sentenced to death

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Iran has captured 17 spies allegedly working for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and some have been sentenced to death, Iranian media reported on Monday, amid soaring tensions between Tehran and Washington.

The agencies “successfully dismantled a (CIA) spy network,” the head of counter-intelligence at the Iranian intelligence ministry, whose identity was not revealed, told reporters in Tehran.

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“Those who deliberately betrayed the country were handed to the judiciary… some were sentenced to death and some to long-term imprisonment.”

The announcement comes as Iran-US tensions soar after the United States withdrew unilaterally from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal and reimposed economic sanctions on the Islamic republic.

The suspects had been “employed at sensitive and crucial centres and also the private sector related to them, working as contractors or consultants,” said the official.

Iranian state television published images it said showed the CIA officers who were in touch with the suspected spies.

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There was no immediate comment on the Iranian allegations by the CIA or US officials.

Iran announced in June that it had broken up an alleged CIA spy ring but it was unclear whether Monday’s announcement was linked to the same case.

The announcement comes after three months of spiralling confrontation between Iran and the West that began when new tighter US sanctions took effect in May.

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Last week Iran captured a British tanker after Britain’s Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker on July 4.

In a statement read on state television, the Ministry of Intelligence said 17 spies were arrested during the Iranian calendar year that ended in March 2019.

“The identified spies were employed in sensitive and vital private sector centres in the economic, nuclear, infrastructure, military and cyber areas… where they collected classified information,” read the ministry statement.

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In a separate report, the semi-official Fars news agency quoted a Ministry of Intelligence official as saying some of those arrested had been sentenced to death.

An Iranian television documentary aired on Monday purported to show a CIA officer recruiting an Iranian man in the United Arab Emirates.

“Because there are so many intelligence officers in Dubai. It is very dangerous… Iranian intelligence,” a woman was shown telling an Iranian in the documentary about alleged CIA spying in Iran which was broadcast on state television.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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‘Alarming gibberish’: Trump mocked for raging impotently against Fed chair and China

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President Donald Trump attacked his own Federal Reserve chairman as an "enemy" of the United States amid his escalating trade war with China -- and other social media users were flabbergasted.

Fed chairman Jerome Powell refused to budge on interest rates, despite heavy pressure by the president in the face of a looming recession, and China retaliated against the tariffs Trump imposed with a new round of their own.

Trump lashed out at Powell, whose name he misspelled, and compared him unfavorably to Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

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A look inside the Koch brothers’ secret plan to manipulate politicians — and how it fueled the rise of the radical right

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Democrats and Republicans are expected to spend about $1 billion getting their 2016 nominee elected. There’s a third group that will spend almost as much. It’s not a political party, and it doesn’t have any candidates. It’s the right-wing political network backed by the billionaire Koch brothers, Charles and David Koch, expected to spend nearly $900 million in 2016. The Kochs’ 2016 plans come as part of an effort to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to conservative candidates and causes over the last four decades. The story of the Koch brothers and an allied group of billionaire donors is told in a new book by New Yorker reporter Jane Mayer, “Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right.” Mayer traces how the Kochs and other billionaires have leveraged their business empires to shape the political system in the mold of their right-wing agenda.

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New video emerges of Trump blurting out anti-Semitic slurs

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President Donald Trump this week said that the majority of American Jews were "disloyal" to Israel because they support the Democratic Party -- but that's far from the first time that the president has made controversial statements that deploy anti-Semitic tropes.

The Washington Post has obtained a video clip from 2011 that shows Trump boasting about how great one of his golf courses is before saying that "even these spoiled, rich Jewish guys, they can’t believe how good this [course] is."

The clip was originally aired on the Golf Channel for the show "Donald J. Trump's Fabulous World of Golf."

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