17:36 GMT10 July 2020
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    Anything Iran says should be taken “with a grain of salt,” US Secretary of State said in an interview with WFTV 9 on July 22 while on a work visit to Orlando, Florida, noting that the US is building a coalition that will patrol the Strait of Hormuz.

    Asked to address Tehran’s claim of having busted a CIA-affiliated spy ring, Pompeo said “everyone should be deeply skeptical.” 

    “I’m not free to comment on intelligence matters, but suffice it to say we – everyone should be deeply skeptical when the Islamic Republic of Iran makes a statement like we saw this morning,” the Secretary of State said in regard to the arrests made in the Islamic Republic on suspicion of spying on behalf of the United States.

    Pompeo noted that the US doesn’t want war with Iran, yet wants it to “stop engaging in terror activities around the world.”

    “We are working to change the behaviour of the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And we are building out a coalition that will patrol the Strait of Hormuz to keep those shipping lanes, those sea lanes open. There’ll be nations from all around the world that participate in that,” Pompeo added.

    US-Iran relations have deteriorated since Trump unilaterally withdrew the United States from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the Iran nuclear agreement. The United States proclaimed it intends to bring down Iran’s sale of oil to zero and re-introduced sanctions on almost all major sectors of the Iranian economy.

    In May, Tehran announced its own decision to partially suspend obligations under the JCPOA and gave the other agreement signatories - France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Russia, China and the European Union - 60 days to save the accord by facilitating oil exports and trade with Iran. As the deadline expired, Iran said it would begin enriching uranium beyond the 3.67 percent level set in the JCPOA and warned it would gradually abandon its nuclear commitments every 60 days.


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    Strait of Hormuz, coalition, USA, Iran, Mike Pompeo
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