Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said that a war with Iran would be the “mother of all wars” as he emphasised the US must lift all sanctions if they want to have any negotiations. The agressive words of warning come as the UK has agreed to work alongside the US to ensure the security of the merchant vessels in the Strait of Homuz, off the coast of Iran, which around a fifth of the world’s oil passes through each day.
Mr Rouhani said: “Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, war with Iran is the mother of all wars.
“A strait for a strait. It can’t be that the Strait of Hormuz is free for you and the Strait of Gibraltar is not free for us.”
Mr Rouhani has said that Washington must lift all sanction “before everything else” and called the sanctions an act of “economic terrorism”.
According to Iranian state TV, President Rouhani made the comments during a meeting with foreign minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Tuesday.
Mr Zarif has claimed he was invited to the White House for talks and even threatened with sanctions if he failed to attend.
British security sources have said the aim of the Iran mission is to protect the security of shipping and the UK would not be joining US sanctions against Iran.
The UK has two ships in the region, which are Type 23 frigate HMS Montrose and Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan.
Italy, Denmark and France have also said they would back the UK navy but they have yet to commit.
READ MORE: Iran threatens to launch legal action over seized UK tanker
Tehran has threatened to launch legal action over the UK tanker it seized last month after accusing Britain of collaborating with the USA in “economic terrorism”.
British-flagged tanker Stena Impero was seized by Iranian Republican Guards on July 19 in retaliation for the detention of an Iranian tanker off Gibraltar.
Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: “The UK is determined to ensure her shipping is protected from unlawful threats and for that reason we have today joined the new maritime security mission in the Gulf.
“Upholding international maritime law and freedom of passage is in all our interests. We are seeing, across our seas and oceans, too many incidents that seek to challenge such freedoms.
“The deployment of Royal Navy assets is a sign of our commitment to our UK-flagged vessels and we look forward to working alongside the US and others to find an international solution to the problems in the Strait of Hormuz.”