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Iran 'arrests CIA agents who staged cyber attacks' as Gulf tensions simmer

Iran says the US has been made aware of the case [Getty/ Illustrative image]

Date of publication: 17 June, 2019

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Iran says US spies have been arrested in several countries following the dismantling of a large-scale CIA cyber spying ring.

Iran on Monday said it had busted a large-scale US cyber espionage network, resulting in the arrests of several US operatives in different countries.

The alleged dismantling of the spy network was announced by the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani.

"One of the most complicated CIA cyber espionage networks that had an important role in the CIA's operations in different countries was exposed by the Iranian intelligence agencies a while ago and was dismantled," Shamkhani was quoted by state broadcaster IRIB as saying, referring to the US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

"We shared the information about the exposed network with our allies that led to the identification and arrest of CIA intelligence agents."

Shamkhani gave no further details about where the alleged arrests were made, however said that information about the case had been released to the US.

Rising tensions between Tehran and Washington have raised fears of an outbreak of hostilities in the region.

Last week, the US accused Iran of being behind an attack on two tankers - the Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous that was carrying highly flammable methanol when it was rocked by explosions and the Norwegian-operated Front Altair - in the Gulf of Oman.

US President Donald Trump has said the twin attacks had Iran "written all over it", rejecting Tehran's vehement denial.

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