Iran claims to have demolished a spy ring of 17 Iranian nationals who labored within the nation’s army and nuclear centres and had been skilled by US intelligence brokers.

An unnamed official answerable for the intelligence ministry’s anti-espionage operations advised overseas reporters in Tehran on Monday that the US had expanded its espionage operations inside Iran underneath President Donald Trump.

Iran revealed the counter-espionage operation within the midst of a disaster sparked by Tehran’s seizure of a UK-flagged tanker on Friday, a present of power in retaliation for Britain’s seize of an Iranian vessel earlier this month.

British prime minister Theresa Might, who was scheduled to step down on Wednesday, was as a result of tackle the tanker seizure on Monday morning in a gathering of the UK authorities’s Cobra emergency response committee.

The Iranian intelligence official stated among the 17 alleged spies had been sentenced to loss of life whereas some others had been co-operating with Iran’s intelligence companies to collect data from the US.

The individuals, he stated, had been specialists and technicians in “delicate locations” from which the US wish to acquire extra data. He stated this included army and nuclear websites, including that this community didn’t do any main sabotage.

He stated there was no hyperlink between CIA and western and regional intelligence companies for this operation. However he stated some European and non-European nations had been conscious of the conferences of their nations.

Iran’s operation began final yr and it’s an ongoing judicial and anti-espionage course of, the official stated.

On Saturday Iran posted a video of its Revolutionary Guard descending from a helicopter and taking up the Stena Impero tanker because it handed by way of the very important Strait of Hormuz waterway on Friday, sharply elevating tensions within the Islamic republic’s stand-off with the west.

The seizure of the tanker was in retaliation for Britain’s choice to impound an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar earlier this month after it was suspected of delivery oil to Syria in violation of EU sanctions.