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US-Iran military "hotline" link reports 'premature': US official

Washington , Tue, 20 Sep 2011 ANI

Washington, Sept 20 (ANI): A senior US defense official has refuted reports that the country's officials are actively considering establishing an emergency "hotline" between the American and Iranian armies, adding that talks in this respect are only at a premature stage.


The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported that discussions were underway to set up a direct line between the U.S. and Iranian militaries after a series of "near-miss" encounters between the two in the Persian Gulf that could have potentially led to a broader conflict, ABC News reports.


"There may or may not be advocates for establishing a naval hotline at some point, but discussion of it is very premature. There are no proposals for opening up such a channel currently in front of either the Secretary of Defense or the President," the senior U.S. defense official said.


U.S. officials are particularly worried about run-ins with high-performance speed boats sometimes equipped with missiles and possibly operated by Iran's elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.


"We continue to be concerned about Iran's destabilizing activities and ambitions, and we remain firmly committed to protecting our personnel, our interests, and our partners in the region. We have consistently conveyed to Iran that it must halt its destabilizing behavior and avoid any provocations in the Gulf, Iraq, or elsewhere," Department of Defense spokesperson George Little said.


The use of direct "hotlines" between the U.S. and rival nations was first made famous just less than half a century ago when President Kennedy established a link between Washington, and Moscow in 1963 following the Cuban Missile Crisis. (ANI)


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