'This will be mother of all wars,' says Rouhani
War with Iran is the mother of all wars, President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech yesterday.
He again warned shipping might not be safe in the Strait of Hormuz oil route.
Tensions have risen between Iran and the West since last year when the United States pulled out of an international agreement which curbed the Islamic Republic's nuclear programme in return for an easing of economic sanctions.
"Peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, war with Iran is the mother of all wars," Mr Rouhani said.
If the United States wants to have negotiations with Iran then it must lift all sanctions, Mr Rouhani said, noting Iran must be allowed to export oil.
Fuelling fears of a Middle East war with global repercussions, Iran's Revolutionary Guards seized British tanker Stena Impero near the Strait of Hormuz in July for alleged marine violations, two weeks after British forces captured an Iranian oil tanker near Gibraltar accused of violating sanctions on Syria.
"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 said.
Approximately one-fifth of the world's oil traffic passes through the Strait of Hormuz.