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Foreign warships will need Iran's permission to pass Hormuz Strait: lawmaker

(Xinhua)

08:22, January 05, 2012

TEHRAN, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- An Iranian lawmaker said that all foreign warships will have to apply for Iran's permission to pass through the Hormuz Strait, the semi-official Fars news agency reported Wednesday.

"If the military vessels and warships of any country want to pass through the Strait of Hormuz without coordination and permission of Iran's Navy forces, they should be stopped by the Iranian Armed Forces," said the lawmaker, Nader Qazipour.

The Iranian lawmakers are now working on a relevant plan, Qazipour said.

Rapporteur of the Iranian Majlis (parliament) National Security and Foreign Policy Commission, Kazzem Jalali, said Monday that the Islamic republic would use the Hormuz Strait as a defensive tool and would close the waterway if it came under threat.

Iran's Army Commander Major General Ataollah Salehi warned on Tuesday against the return of a U.S. aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf after it had left the gulf to the Sea of Oman during Iran's recent navy drill in the Strait of Hormuz.

"We advice this (U.S.) aircraft carrier not to return to the Persian Gulf because we will not stop just on advice," said Salehi.

In response to the Iranian commander's remarks, the Pentagon said Tuesday that the United States would continue to send aircraft carriers into the region despite Iran's warning.

"The deployment of U.S. military assets in the Persian Gulf region will continue as it has for decades," Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement, "These carrier strike group deployments are necessary to maintain the continuity and operational support to ongoing missions."

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