IRAN has vowed to strike US military bases as tensions escalate to dangerous new heights in the Gulf.
Hossein Dehghan, an advisor to the Iranian supreme leader, was quoted by Al Jazeera as issuing the fiery warning to the US.
He vowed that Tehran would strike US military bases in the Middle East if Washington triggered a war in Iran.
Iran has said it considers any strike against them as an act of war – despite the US claiming they have shot down two drones in the Gulf.
Dehghan warned Iran would not renegotiate the so-called nuclear deal that was last year axed by US President Trump.
Trump’s withdrawal from the deal sparked fears of a new confrontation in Middle East, which has heightened in recent weeks after the seizure of a British oil tanker by Iran.
Dehghan – a commander in Iran’s Revolutionary Guard – warned of an upcoming “dangerous confrontation” in the Strait of Hormuz.
He was quoted as saying that any “change in status” over the Strait could lead to a clash.
It came after Britain pledged a European naval armada to be sent to the Strait to protect shipping from Iran.
The commander said that all countries should be able to export their oil through the strait – or no one could.
Dehghan also said that the United Arab Emirates was becoming a US centre to strike Iran.
He claimed the Gulf state had sent a delegation to Iran to discuss peace.
The commander was also dismissed US threats as a “ruse”.
His comments were broadcast in Al Jazeera TV in a series of news flashes with an Arabic-language voiceover.
Tensions have heightened in recent months as Iran is accused of attempting to lock down the Strait of Hormuz.
It has been accused of staging attacks on five oil tankers and a cargo ship.
Tehran denies any involvement in the attacks, but they have soundly been blamed by the US.
Iran also shot down a US drone – nearly prompting a limited strike by Washington before an 11th hour U-turn by Trump.
Tanker tensions reached a new level when Britain seized the Grace 1 – an Iranian oil tanker believed to be bound for Syria.
It was breaching EU sanctions when it passed Gibraltar as it entered the Med.
Iran responded by threatening to seize UK ships, a move which prompted a warship deployment by the Royal Navy.
Britain’s frigate HMS Montrose was however unable to stop Iran capturing the British flagged Stena Impero.
Stena Impero is now being held by Iran – menacingly circled by fast attack boats – as Type 45 destroyer HMS Duncan heads for the Middle East.
Britain has urged Iran release the tanker and accused it of “state piracy”.
And causing further tensions, Iran has broken the binds placed on its enrichment of uranium by the nuclear deal.
Tehran has said the measures are just for power plant fuel, and will not be used for the development of nukes.
The foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, plus the foreign affairs chief of the European Union, said in a statement that Iran was “pursuing activities inconsistent with its commitments”.
Trump’s administration argues the deal was too soft on Iran and it didn’t impact its missile programme of sponsor of terrorism.
Iran has said it wants to continue to abide by the agreement but cannot do so indefinitely if US sanctions prevent it from receiving any of the promised economic benefits.
Britain’s new Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, has inherited the crisis – and since sacked the defence and foreign secretaries, the two senior ministers dealing with the tensions in the Gulf.