Iran sentences 17 ‘CIA’ spies to death, sparking international alarm

Iran’s petulant behavior has taken a daring new turn this week, forcing the global community to focus their attention on the renegade regime.

For weeks, Iran has been attempting to misbehave their way into sanction negotiations, after the rogue nation was cut out of an Obama-era nuclear “deal” with the US, thusly incurring the economic punishment.  Instead of coming back to the negotiating table, Tehran’s leaders have taken a page out of North Korea’s handbook, actively annoying the world at large for the sake of attention.

Much of Iran’s debauchery has taken place in the Persian Gulf, particularly in the Strait of Hormuz.  Oil tankers have been torpedoed, seized, or bombarded with magnetic mines in attacks attributed to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard.

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Now, in a terrifying escalation aimed directly at the United States, Iran has captured seventeen CIA “spies” and sentenced several to death.  The US isn’t buying it, however.

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President Trump on Monday dismissed as “more lies and propaganda” claims out of Iran alleging authorities there had disrupted a CIA spy ring and sentenced several of the plotters to death — a development that threatened to further inflame an already precarious staredown between the Islamic Republic and the United States.

Trump’s tweet, which also mentioned an Iranian drone shot down by the U.S. Navy last week after the unmanned vehicle wandered too close to the USS Boxer, echoed comments made earlier in the morning by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and cast Tehran as flailing amid tough U.S. sanctions that threatened to strangle its economy.

“The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth,” Trump wrote. “Just more lies and propaganda (like their shot down drone) put out by a Religious Regime that is Badly Failing and has no idea what to do. Their Economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!”

The news out of Iran stands in stark contrast to this claim, however.

The roundup of the alleged espionage cell ensnared 17 people during the past several months and was completed by the end of March, an Iranian official said at a news conference in Tehran. The official was identified only as the director of the counterespionage department of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, which is highly unusual in Iran, as officials usually identify themselves at press conferences.

President Trump has repeatedly insisted that he prefers a diplomatic approach to dealing with Iran, but this latest scandal brings the international community ever closer to exploring other options.

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