The alleged CIA spy ring that Iran claims to have dismantled in June was trying to gather intelligence on the Islamic Republic’s oil sales, The New York Times reported, citing unnamed traders.

According to the media outlet, many of the 17 people accused of spying for the US Central Intelligence Agency had allegedly worked in the oil and energy sector as traders and brokers.

These suspects reportedly came under scrutiny due to their contacts with foreigners during their trips abroad.

The NYT cited unnamed oil traders as claiming that the foreigners, who supposedly work on behalf of the United States, went as far as to offer enormous sums, from $100,000 to $1 million, just to find out the bank account numbers the Iranian Oil Ministry would use in a sale. One source alleged that some of the foreigners promised visas to the United States for the information.

Per the newspaper, information about Tehran’s crude sales and production is a “crucial tool” for the United States to step up its “maximum pressure” campaign against Iran.

Secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council Ali Shamkhani announced on 17 June that the country had allegedly busted a CIA-run “large US cyber-espionage” network with help from the intelligence services of other countries. The country’s judiciary later stated that Iranian military personnel working for US intelligence would be executed for treason, while non-military personnel would serve long prison terms.

A month later, Iranian media claimed that as many as 17 CIA-trained spies had been identified, and published photo and video evidence of purported US attempts to recruit Iranians to work against their government.

ALSO READ  Iran deploys air defense system inside Syria to protect against attacks: photo

At the time, US President Donald Trump took to Twitter to slam the reports as “totally false“, while adding that there was “zero truth” in those allegations.

His tweet echoed earlier comments by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who argued that “the Iranian regime has a long story of lying”.

Tensions have been simmering in the region since the US withdrew from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, also known as the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, in May 2018, and decided to reinstate all sanctions against the Islamic Republic.

Having decided to reimpose all sanctions and introduce a new set of restrictions on Iran’s energy, shipping, financial, and other sectors, President Trump pledged to cut the country’s oil exports to zero. He also vowed to introduce secondary sanctions on foreign companies doing business with Tehran, which drew much criticism from other signatories to the nuclear deal.

Washington, however, provided waivers to eight economies, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Taiwan, who agreed to reduce their purchases of Iranian oil, allowing them to continue buying it without facing sanctions for six more months. In April, the Trump administration decided not to reissue waivers on Iranian oil after they expired in May 2019.

On the one-year anniversary of the US unilateral pull-out, Tehran announced that it would partially suspend some of its voluntary commitments under the nuclear deal, having set a 60-day deadline for the five remaining signatories to the agreement – Russia, China, the UK, France, and Germany – to ensure that its interests are protected or else the country would resume enriching uranium at higher levels.

ALSO READ  Iran accuses Israel of testing nuclear missile designed to strike them

As the deadline expired, Iran stated that it would begin enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 percent level set by the accord and warned that it would gradually abandon its nuclear obligations every 60 days.

 

Source: Sputnik

Advertisements
Share this article:
  •  
  •  
  • 1
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
    1
    Share

Notice: All comments represent the view of the commenter and not necessarily the views of AMN.

All comments that are not spam or wholly inappropriate are approved, we do not sort out opinions or points of view that are different from ours.

This is a Civilized Place for Public Discussion

Please treat this discussion with the same respect you would a public park. We, too, are a shared community resource — a place to share skills, knowledge and interests through ongoing conversation.

These are not hard and fast rules, merely guidelines to aid the human judgment of our community and keep this a clean and well-lighted place for civilized public discourse.

Improve the Discussion

Help us make this a great place for discussion by always working to improve the discussion in some way, however small. If you are not sure your post adds to the conversation, think over what you want to say and try again later.

The topics discussed here matter to us, and we want you to act as if they matter to you, too. Be respectful of the topics and the people discussing them, even if you disagree with some of what is being said.

Be Agreeable, Even When You Disagree

You may wish to respond to something by disagreeing with it. That’s fine. But remember to criticize ideas, not people. Please avoid:

  • Name-calling
  • Ad hominem attacks
  • Responding to a post’s tone instead of its actual content
  • Knee-jerk contradiction

Instead, provide reasoned counter-arguments that improve the conversation.

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Daeshbags-Sux
Guest
Daeshbags-Sux

Paranoia is looming, they see CIA everywhere