July 22, 2019 | From Fox News
Iran on Monday trumpeted the issuing of death sentences to several members of what it claims is a CIA spy ring that had been embedded in “sensitive” departments nationwide, a development that threatened to further inflame an already precarious staredown between the Islamic Republic and the United States.
The roundup of the alleged espionage cell ensnared 17 people during the past several months and was completed by the end of March, an Iranian official said at a news conference in Tehran. The official was identified only as the director of the counterespionage department of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry, which is highly unusual in Iran, as officials usually identify themselves at press conferences.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, while not commenting directly on the spy report, advised caution and noted Iran has a history of lying.
“I can’t add much to it specifically,” Pompeo told “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning. “I would urge everyone who’s reading that story that the Iranian regime has a long history of lying. They lied about where they shot down the American UAV, they now lied about where they took down this tanker. It’s part of the nature of the Ayatollah to lie to the world. I would take with a significant grain of salt any Iranian assertion of Iranian actions taken. ”
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The U.S. has increased its military presence in the Persian Gulf region in recent weeks after it alleged provocative moves by Tehran that included attacks on two oil tankers in the Strait of Hormuz, the downing of a U.S. drone and the seizure of a British tanker. (Excerpt from Fox News.)