The Washington Times - January 13, 2012, 02:11PM

Choosing his words carefully, White House spokesman Jay Carney reacted cautiously to a Friday New York Times story that said the Obama administration is relying on a secret channel of communications to warn Iran that closing off the Straits of Hormuz would be a “red line” that would provoke an American response.

“I wouldn’t want to characterize the nature of this issue right now beyond saying that our views are clear. We’re expressing them publicly and privately,” he said during an off-camera briefing with reporters Friday.


If Iran closes the strategically important waterway, Mr. Carney said, “this would clearly be an issue.”

“We take no options off the table but we are engaged in the kinds of diplomatic efforts you would expect, and we intend to make our views on this known very clearly,” he continued.