File photo: US President Donald Trump and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani. Photograph:( Reuters )
Iran's state television quoting its defence ministry had said that the country had captured 17 spies working for the CIA.
After US secretary of state Mike Pompeo dismissed Iran’s announcement it had captured 17 spies, US President Trump said Iran's report is "totally false".
"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," President Trump said in a tweet.
"Their economy is dead, and will get much worse. Iran is a total mess!"
The Report of Iran capturing CIA spies is totally false. Zero truth. 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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 22, 2019
Iran's state televison quoting its defence ministry had said that the country had captured 17 spies working for the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and some have been sentenced to death.
"The identified spies were employed insensitive and vital private sector centres in the economic, nuclear, infrastructural, military and cyber areas... where they collected classified information," said a ministry statement read on state television.
However, US secretary of state Pompeo told a US television channel that the "Iranian regime has a long history of lying" while adding that the US was trying to get a long list of Americans from Iran.
"I would take with a significant grain of salt any Iranian assertion about actions that they’ve taken," he said.
US and Iran relations hit a new low after Iran's Revolutinary Guard shot down a US survellence drone last month. President Trump later threatened to carry out air strikes against Iranian targets which he later called off as tensions escalated in West Asia.
The US also blamed attack on oil tankers on Iran's Revolutinary Guard, a charge denied by the Rouhani regime as relations between the two countries continued to slide.