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Jazeera cites Iran official warning of confrontation if Hormuz status changed

Reuters , Wednesday 24 Jul 2019
The military adviser to Iran's supreme leader Hossein Dehghan (Photo: Reuters)

The military adviser to Iran's supreme leader was quoted on Wednesday as saying that any change in the status of the Strait of Hormuz, which Tehran says it protects, would open the door to a dangerous confrontation.

In a series of news flashes, Al Jazeera TV quoted Hossein Dehghan, a commander of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards, as also telling the channel that Tehran would not negotiate with the U.S. administration under any circumstances and that if Washington decided to go to war then all American bases in the region would be targeted.

It later aired excerpts of the interview which had an Arabic-language voice over.

Britain has called for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the world's most important oil artery after Iran seized a British tanker last week.

The United States, which has imposed economic sanctions on Iran aimed at halting its exports of oil, is trying to rally support for a global coalition to secure Gulf waters.

Dehghan said all countries should be able to export their oil through the strait or else no one could, Al Jazeera said.

It quoted him as accusing Abu Dhabi, the political capital of the United Arab Emirates, of becoming a U.S. centre to strike Iran's national security, but added that the Gulf Arab state had sent a delegation to Iran to discuss peace.

UAE officials were not immediately available to comment.

The administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which pulled out of a nuclear agreement with Iran last year, wants a tougher agreement that will also place limits on Iran's missile programme. Washington's hard line is supported by Gulf Arab allies, including the UAE.

Jazeera quoted Dehghan as saying Iran would not negotiate its missile programme with anyone, and dismissing U.S. threats of a war as a ruse.

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