Tehran claims to have dismantled a CIA spy network

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The CIA premises in Langley, Virginia (image for illustration). – SAUL LOEB / AFP

While the tension between the two countries is at its maximum,
Iran said on Tuesday it had dismantled a "new network" of spies on behalf of the United States. Information that has caused concern in Moscow and Beijing.

"Based on our own intelligence and clues collected in US services, we have recently discovered the new recruits hired by the Americans and dismantled this new network," Iran's official news agency Irna said, citing the latest news. identify the "head of counterintelligence at the Ministry of Intelligence".

The number of spies and their nationalities remain unknown

Some spies in the network, according to Irna, by the Central Intelligence Agency of the United States (CIA), have already been arrested and brought to justice. The agency, however, gives no figures and does not specify the nationality of the suspects. Iran and the United States have been engaged in a standoff since
the US unilateral withdrawal in 2018 of the nuclear agreement and the reinstatement of US economic sanctions in Tehran.
Attacks on oil tankers in May and June in the Gulf region, attributed by Washington to Iran, which has denied, have thrown oil on the flames.

In the face of escalating tensions, Russia, an allied country of Iran, has called for "restraint". "We would prefer not to see any measures that could lead to rising tensions in this already volatile region," said the Kremlin spokesman. China, for its part, called on Americans and Iranians "to keep a cool head" and "not to open the Pandora's box".

Tension escalating between Washington and Tehran

The crisis was accentuated with the announcement on Monday by the Pentagon of "sending 1,000 additional troops for defensive purposes to respond to air, sea and land threats in the Middle East". "The recent Iranian attacks validate the reliable and credible intelligence we have received on the hostile behavior of Iranian forces," said Pentagon chief Patrick Shanahan, in reference to attacks on tankers that have not been claimed. The American administration of Donald Trump intends to carry out a policy of "maximum pressure" against Iran which it accuses of "destabilizing" the Middle East, while affirming not to look for war with Tehran.

Before the announcement of the new US reinforcements, Tehran announced Monday that its low enriched uranium reserves would rise from June 27 above the limit set by the 2015 nuclear agreement. Fruit of intense diplomatic efforts between the two countries. Iran and the Group of Six (Germany, China, United States, France, United Kingdom, Russia), the agreement aims to drastically limit the Tehran nuclear program in exchange for a lifting of economic sanctions. But the reinstatement of US sanctions deprives Iran of the benefits it expected from this pact.

US urges "not to give in to Iran's nuclear blackmail"

Tightened by the sanctions, which drove foreign investors back to Iran in 2016, Iran announced on May 8 that it was avoiding two commitments made under the agreement, including limiting its enriched uranium reserves to 300 kg. Tehran also threatens to gradually overcome the rest of its nuclear obligations, from early July, if by then the remaining States parties to the Vienna agreement do not help to break the devastating effects of sanctions . So far, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has certified that Iran is acting in accordance with its commitments.

The whole world "praises" Iran's loyalty, Iranian President Hassan Rohani assured. "Iran has remained true to its signature," he said, accusing the United States of "trampling on" international law. But after the Iranian announcement on its enriched uranium reserves at 3.67% (a level well below 90% to consider the manufacture of an atomic bomb), the United States called the world "to do not give in to Iran's nuclear blackmail. "

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