5 December 2019

US forms coalition against Iran - Pompeo

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On Monday, Iranian state TV reported that the country had detained 17 Iranian citizens it says were working for the CIA. Hours later, in an interview with Eyewitness News, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo dismissed those assertions. reports citing WFTV 9.

“Take anything Iran says with a grain of salt. They have lied about so many things over so many years,” said Pompeo. “I have seen this reporting. I am not free to comment on intelligence but suffice it to say everyone should be skeptical of claims made by the Islamic State of Iran."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo walks onstage before speaking at the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom, Thursday, July 18, 2019, at the U.S. State Department in Washington. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Pompeo takes aim at China at religious freedom conference

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, left, shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, during their meeting at the Prime Minister's Residence in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, June 26, 2019. Pompeo arrived in India's capital late Tuesday after visiting Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan on a trip aimed at building a global coalition to counter Iran. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)

“We are building out a coalition that will patrol the Strait of Hormuz to keep those shipping lanes, those sea lanes, open," said Pompeo.

Keeping the shipping lanes open could require military actions, as it did in 1988 when the U.S. sank or damaged half of Iran’s fleet in retaliation for Iran mining the Persian Gulf during the Iran-Iraq War. But, while military action may be required to keep the international waters open, Pompeo stressed the administration is not looking for direct combat.

“The president has been clear: We don't want war with Iran. We simply want them to stop engaging in terror activities around the world. They can't continue to build out their nuclear weapons program," said Pompeo.

2019.07.23 / 10:39
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