In July U.S. officials denied that the Iranian government arrested 17 people for spying. They were accused of gathering information about Iran’s nuclear and military programs, and delivering the information to the CIA. At that time, the Iranian ministry said the alleged spies were sentenced to death.

Speaking about the detainment of the alleged spies, Mike Pompeo said “It’s part of the nature of the Ayatollah to lie to the world.” Which is a rich statement considering Pompeo also said “I was in the CIA. We were trained to lie, cheat and steal”, while speaking to audience members of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Iran judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili said, Amir Rahimpour “earned a lot of money” for passing to the CIA information about Iran’s nuclear program. Subsequently, Rahimpour has been sentenced to death. Although not naming them, Esmaili also says there are two more spies accused of working for America that have been sentenced to 10 years, but did not name them.

Jalal Hakivar, an Iranian defense ministry contractor was executed in June after he allegedly confessed to being a paid spy for the CIA. The recent death sentences are not the first of its kind to be handed down to Iranians accused of spying for America. In 2016 Shahram Amiri, an Iranian nuclear scientist was sentenced to death and executed. According to Iran, Amiri defected to the U.S. in 2009 only to return in 2010 with claims of being kidnapped.

With tensions remaining high between the United States and Iran, expect reports of similar convictions moving forward.

James Cheef