TEHRAN, Sept. 26 (MNA) -- The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Navy has dismissed the proposal for the establishment of a direct military hotline between the United States and Iran.There was a somewhat animated exchange on this topic last week between ABC reporter George Stephanolpholous and President Ahmadinejad:
“When we go to the Gulf of Mexico, we will establish direct communication with them. In the view of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the illegitimate presence of the U.S. in the Persian Gulf makes no sense,” Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi said on Monday.
“The Americans should make requests which have something to do with realities,” he added.
Some U.S. media outlets have recently quoted an unidentified U.S. defense official as saying that the U.S. is considering setting up a direct military hotline with Iran after a series of close encounters between U.S. and Iranian forces in the Persian Gulf.
Fearing that a misunderstanding could lead to a wider conflict, U.S. officials are weighing establishing emergency communications but a final decision is still pending, the U.S. official said.
Fadavi said that the United States is afraid of the fact that Iran’s deterrence capability has increased.
“Their objectives are quite clear to us. They only have one way to alleviate their concerns, which is withdrawing from the region,” he added.
STEPHANOPOULOS: You’ve mentioned the longstanding tension between the United States and Iran. There’s been some discussion– here in the United States about one tool to reduce that tension, the possibility of setting up a hotline between the United States and Iran– that could be used to make sure that no incident escalates out of control and that we don’t stumble into a conflict. Would you support establishing that kind of a hotline between Iran and the United States?
AHMADINEJAD: We have founded our foreign policy on relations. We didn’t cut off our relations with the US government. The US government cut off relations with us unilaterally. We don’t think there are any reasons for tensions and we have always said under fair and respectful conditions, we’re ready for talks. We have always welcomed relations between nations. Recently there was a religious group in Iran, and I met with them. I proposed a joint committee between religious leaders to be formed so they could have discussions. So that ideas come together. That’s not a bad thing, that’s a good thing.
STEPHANOPOULOS: How about this military hotline? Would you support something like that?
AHMADINEJAD: You mean for our military forces to be in touch?
STEPHANOPOULOS: Yes, just in case — you know, the idea would be much like what the United States had with the former Soviet Union during the days of the Cold War, a direct line between the leaders or between the militaries so that if there were some kind of a conflict at sea they would have direct communication to avoid the situation from escalating out of control.
AHMADINEJAD: Let me see if I understood you correctly. You mean the US is in a Cold War with Iran? Is that what you mean?
STEPHANOPOULOS: No, I– I was just using it as the analogy just to try to get you to explain what kind of a communication I’m talking about, that’s the closest I could come up with.
AHMADINEJAD: So there is no war. Why should there be a war?
STEPHANOPOULOS: There has been tension, as you said.
AHMADINEJAD: But it has been unilateral. It has been one-sided, meaning the United States government continually acts against us. I don’t think they should do this. Why do they act against a great nation? Have the US gained anything from it so far? We have many areas for cooperation – scientific, economic, nuclear matters. We can cooperate on nuclear matters. Why should we confront each other? We should cooperate.
In a subsequent interview in New York, Ahmadinejad responded with open interest toward the suggestion of a hotline. Apparently the IRGCN commander in charge of the Persian Gulf AO is averse to such a suggestion,