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Amid rising tensions, Mike Pompeo has insisted the US doesn’t want war with Iran and the UK is responsible for taking care of its own ships. The secretary of state also dismissed Tehran’s claims it had arrested CIA-linked spies.
Pompeo was speaking to Fox and Friends on Monday morning when he was asked what the US role was in getting back the British oil tanker Stena Impero, seized by Iran last week.
“The responsibility in the first instance falls to the United Kingdom to take care of their ships,” Pompeo said, adding, “This isn’t because of US sanctions, this is because of the theocracy of the leadership in Iran, the revolutionary zeal to conduct terror around the world, for now four decades, continues.”
“We don’t want war with Iran, we want them to behave like a normal nation,” he added. “I think they understand that.”
Iran has said that all 23 crew members on the Stena Impero are “safe and in good health,” and that it seized the tanker in response to the UK’s seizure of one of its own tankers on July 4.
In his interview, Pompeo also dismissed Iran’s announcement that it had captured 17 CIA-linked spies. “The Iranian regime has a long history of lying,” he said.