Friday, 14 December, 2018

Iran may block oil export from Gulf, says President Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a public speech during a trip to the northern Iranian city of Shahroud Rouhani: If US blocks Iran’s oil exports, will close trade route
Deanna Wagner | 06 December, 2018, 03:31

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has threatened again to close the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for almost a third of all oil traded by sea.

"And it should also know that if it attempts to stop Iran's oil [sales] someday, no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf", he said during a speech on Tuesday in the city of Shahroud, Semnan Province.

Rouhani also pledged that the United States would not be able to prevent Iran from exporting its crude.

In December, the United States announced it would be sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf in the near future after a decades-long absence of the U.S. fleet in the region. Specifically the unnamed officials identified the objective as to "exhibit a show of force against Iran".

Iran did not confirm or deny that it carried out a missile test, but Tehran has insisted it is not pursuing nuclear weapons and the missiles and not created to carry nukes.

Rouhani said the United States would not succeed in cutting Iran's economic ties with the region and the world.

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Over the weekend, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that Iran tested a medium-range missile capable of carrying multiple warheads and striking parts of Europe and the entire Middle East. "It should be studied why the USA is angry with Iran and Iranians".

In early November, for example, a prominent hardline cleric told a Friday prayer gathering in Mashhad, considered Iran's spiritual capital, that Iran has the power to "instantly" create conditions for $400 a barrel oil prices if it decides to act in the Persian Gulf.

After its repeated threats of disrupting other countries' oil shipment through the Gulf, if Washington presses ahead with efforts to halt Iranian oil export, the USA administration responded on Tuesday to Iran, where it dismissed any possibility of disruption in the navigation movement and rejected Tehran's provocations in the region. "The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in global waterways".

"This appears to be propaganda aimed at discouraging people", Zarif added.

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"We have been very clear with the Iranian regime that we will not hesitate to use military force when our interests are threatened".