In the past, U.S. officials have conceded that Iran has had success in identifying Western agents operating inside the country.
In 2011, Iranian intelligence minister Heidar Moslehi announced in May 2011 that more than 30 U.S. and Israeli spies had been discovered and an Iranian television program, which acts as a front for Iran's government, showed images of internet sites used by the U.S. for secret communication with the spies.
U.S. officials told ABC News that much of what was broadcast was, in fact, true. U.S. officials said the Iranian television program showed pictures of people who were not U.S. assets, but the program's video of the websites used by the CIA was accurate.
The number of CIA assets in Iran who may have been compromised could be in the dozens, according to one current and one former U.S. intelligence official.
A U.S. official speaking for the record but without attribution gave grudging credit to Iran for its efforts to detect and expose U.S. and Israeli espionage.
"Collecting sensitive information on adversaries who are aggressively trying to uncover spies in their midst will always be fraught with risk," the U.S. official said.