Iran could trigger a global terrorist campaign and choke the West's oil supplies in the event of war with America, the top US commander in the region has warned.
In a rare public discussion of how a war with Iran might unfold, Gen John Abizaid, the chief of the US Central Command, gave a sobering assessment of Iran's military potential.
He warned that in a war Iran would rely on unconventional means to challenge America's superiority.
"Number one, they have naval capacity to temporarily block the Straits of Hormuz [the entrance into the Gulf] and interfere with global commerce if they should choose to do so," he said.
"Number two, they've got a substantial missile force that can do a lot of damage to our friends and partners in the region.