Iran arrests 17 nationals, accuses them of spying for the US government's CIA

The country's Islamic Republic Intelligence Ministry said the alleged spies worked as staff in sensitive sectors in the country, including "economic, nuclear, military and cyber fields."
2:14 | 07/23/19

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Transcript for Iran arrests 17 nationals, accuses them of spying for the US government's CIA
tensions between the U.S. And Iran. Iran tonight now claiming to have arrested 17 alleged spies trained by the CIA. Iran showing images they say are the CIA officers who ran the network. And new images tonight of the Iranian revolutionary guard commandos dropping down from a helicopter to seize that British tanker, and the pictures, the Iranian gunships circling that tanker, as well. Martha Raddatz with late reporting just in. Reporter: Iranian state television today claiming these images, which we've blurred, show CIA officers who ran a network of spies. 17 Iranian nationals they say were spying on nuclear, cyber and military programs for the U.S. That's totally a false story. That's another lie. They put out propaganda. They put out lies. Reporter: This comes as the first video of the crew of a british-flagged oil tanker has emerged. The 23 crewmembers captured after a dramatic seizure at sea by Iranian commandos, seen circling the tanker, looking for a spot to land, with a warning to the commercial vessel to turn around. Change your course to 360, 360 degrees immediately. If you obey, you will be safe, Reporter: But it was a British warship that responded to the warning, trying to stop the Iranian commandos from boarding the stena. Please confirm that you are not intending to violate international law by unlawfully attempting to board the MV stena. Reporter: But within moments, the Iranian commandos were rappelling down to the tanker from the helicopter. A short time later, raising the Iranian flag above it. So, let's get right to Martha Raddatz, with us live tonight. I want to go back to those photographs the Iranians have released tonight, that they claim are CIA officers. What do we know about them? Reporter: Well, some of the names do match with current or former state department employees but they came from business cards that the Iranians found. But whether these were real CIA officers are not, David, the Iranians have put these individuals in danger by releasing those images and names, David. All right, Martha Raddatz with us on a Monday night, as well. Thank you. We algts have new reporting

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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