US Defense Secretary James Mattis has dismissed reports the US is planning a military strike on Iran as early as next month.
Last week, Australian national broadcaster ABC reported that senior Australian government figures believed the US was planning to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, something Mattis described as "fiction".
"I have no idea where the Australian news people got that information," he said.
If Iran follows through with a threat to close the Strait of Hormuz, Mattis noted it would demand an international response. The strategic importance of the Persian Gulf shipping lane cannot be underestimated: around one-fifth of the world’s petroleum passes through it.