US President Donald Trump has denied reports that over a dozen CIA operatives were captured in Iran, calling it ‘just more lies and propaganda’ on Tehran’s part.

The allegation is a desperate measure by a “badly failing” government with a “dead” economy, Trump tweeted on Monday.

It mirrors earlier comments made by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who also dismissed Tehran’s claims. “The Iranian regime has a long history of lying,” Pompeo said in an interview on Fox News, when asked about the alleged spy bust.

State-affiliated media reported on Monday that Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence had arrested 17 members of a suspected spy ring. The agents, who posed as private contractors working in various industries inside Iran, were reportedly recruited by CIA officers while applying for US visas.

Others were approached on the sidelines of scientific events in European, African, and Asian countries.

The suspected spies were said to have been equipped with high-tech communication gear which they used to relay intelligence to their American handlers.

Tensions between the US and Iran are on the rise. Washington announced on Saturday that it had shot down an Iranian drone that approached a US warship, a claim fervently denied by Tehran.

Ilhan Omar voted down a bill that would have stopped barbaric family members from being able to mutilate the genitals of children.

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