Fujairah, United Arab Emirates — Amid rising tensions with Iran, Donald Trump denied Iran’s claim that it has arrested 17 people who were spying for the CIA. The Ministry of Intelligence released what it’s calling a “documentary,” where it alleges 17 Iranian nationals were sharing sensitive information with American handlers, saying some of the accused Iranians will face execution.
“I read a report today about [the] CIA that’s totally a false story. That’s another lie. They put out propaganda, they put out lies,” said Mr. Trump.
The allegations follow Iran’s Revolutionary Guard storming a British flagged oil tanker over the weekend. Radio recordings capture the moment the Stena Impero was apparently forced into Iranian territorial waters by commandos despite warnings from a nearby British warship.
In London, top members of the British government met in an emergency meeting, where Iran was accused of “state piracy.”
“We will now seek to put together a European-led maritime protection mission to support safe passage of both crew and cargo in this vital region,” said British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt.
When asked about the escalating tensions with Iran, Mr. Trump said he hadn’t ruled out talks, but admitted that could change.
“They’re saying bad things and I’ll tell you. It could go either way, very easily, very easily. And I’m OK either way it goes,” he said.
Despite the president’s offers to make a deal, the Iranian leadership has repeatedly said it won’t return to the negotiating table, which could put at risk attempts to prevent a major escalation.
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