Amid US sanctions, Iran threatens again to close key strait

06 December, 2018, 03:30 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a public speech during a trip to the northern Iranian city of Shahroud

"If one day they want to prevent the export of Iran's oil, then no oil will be exported" from the region, he said.

In an address to the people of Semnan Province on 4 December, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterated threats to prevent all oil exports from the Persian Gulf in the event the United States curbs Tehran's own exports.

Shia cleric Ayatollah Ahmad Alamolhoda grabbed headlines at the time by declaring, "If Iran decides, a single drop of this region's oil will not be exported and in 90 minutes all Persian Gulf countries will be destroyed".

It has vowed to reduce Iran's oil sales to zero, but has granted temporary waivers to eight countries.

The United States has made 11 attempts to begin negotiations with Iran in the last two years, all rejected by Tehran, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani was quoted as saying on Tuesday.

Rouhani made similar comments in July.

The president downplayed the economic impact of sanctions, accusing the media of exaggerating the country's problems. "People should stop saying such things in the papers", he told the crowd.

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In a similar statement made last month, the Iranian leader declared that the United States had failed to halt exports, denouncing U.S. sanctions as "psychological war doomed to failure".

He said the government would maintain subsidies on essential goods and increase public sector wages and pensions by 20 percent.

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. Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz to export oil if the United States moves forward with tougher sanctions.

The United States and the Israeli regime can not stand the idea of a powerful and dignified Iran, and the Iranian nation will not bow to them, Rouhani highlighted, adding, "the United States failed in launching a coup in our country".

Following incendiary remarks by U.S. officials thrown at Tehran, Iran's deputy commander of the regular armed forces said that the military was "prepared" to protect Iranian oil tankers.

The carrier deployment, though previously scheduled, was announced after the US condemned Iran's test firing a medium-range nuclear capable ballistic missile on Sunday.

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