(Bloomberg) -- Iran has handed down death sentences to several nationals accused of being part of a CIA-trained spy network uncovered earlier this year.
Seventeen people were arrested in all, and an unspecified number were recently sentenced to death, a senior intelligence official told foreign media in Tehran on Monday. None of the suspects are dual nationals, according to the official, who declined to be identified.
They were trained by the CIA to gather classified information from sensitive locations in Iran including military bases, nuclear facilities and economic centers, he said.
The CIA lured recruits by promising residency and jobs in the U.S. and safe passage out of Iran, setting up shell companies as a cover to approach and hire Iranians, the official said.
The Intelligence Ministry has detected an uptick in U.S. efforts to recruit spies in Iran since the election of President Donald Trump in 2016 and the appointment of Gina Haspel as director of the CIA last year, he said.
--With assistance from Ladane Nasseri and Arsalan Shahla.
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