TEHRAN - No oil will be permitted to pass through the key oil transit Strait of Hormuz if the West applies sanctions on Iran’s oil exports, Iranian Vice President Ali Rahimi warned on Tuesday.
The threat was reported by the state news agency IRNA as Iran conducted navy wargames near the Strait of Hormuz, at the entrance of the oil-rich Gulf.
“If sanctions are adopted against Iranian oil, not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz,” Rahimi was quoted as saying.
“We have no desire for hostilities or violence... but the West doesn’t want to go back on its plan” to impose sanctions, he said.
“The enemies will only drop their plots when we put them back in their place,” he said.
The threat underlined Iran’s readiness to target the narrow stretch of water along its Gulf coast if it is attacked or economically strangled by Western sanctions.
More than a third of the world’s tanker-borne oil passes through the Strait of Hormuz.
The United States maintains a navy presence in the Gulf in large part to ensure that passage remains free.
Iran is currently carrying out navy exercises in international waters to the east of the Strait of Hormuz.
Ships and aircraft dropped mines in the sea Tuesday as part of the drill, according to a navy spokesman.
Although Iranian wargames occur periodically, the timing of these is seen as a show of strength as the United States and Europe prepare to impose further sanctions on Iran’s oil and financial sectors.
The last round of sanctions, announced in November, triggered a pro-regime protest in front of the British embassy in Tehran during which Basij militia members overran the mission, ransacking it.
'Iran capable of closing Hormuz Strait'
Amid an ongoing Iranian naval drill, a Russian newspaper says the Islamic Republic is capable of blocking the Strait of Hormuz, the main oil shipping artery in the world.
On Saturday, Iran's Navy launched the massive 10-day “Velayat 90” naval exercise. The drill covers an area stretching from the east of the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf to the Gulf of Aden.
Iran's decision to close the Strait of Hormuz can fundamentally threaten the prospects of global oil exports, the Russian newspaper Nezavisimaya Gazeta said on Tuesday.
The paper added that the main objective of Iran's naval forces in holding the Velayat 90 drill was practicing the closing off of the Strait of Hormuz, which connects the Persian Gulf to the Sea of Oman, whenever it deem it necessary.
The closure of the Strait of Hormuz will increase oil prices. Therefore, the world's major powers will have no option but to intervene in the case to settle it, it pointed out.
The daily added that the [Persian] Gulf Cooperation Council ([P]GCC) countries have vowed to adopt measures to counter Iran.
The paper quoted Iran's Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari upon receiving orders our forces are capable of executing the mission to close Hormuz.
Disclaimer: Now, this is an ongoing story, is happening in Iran now and those comments are reflected logically in Iranian media first (that´s why i put the links so you can make up your mind yourself). This is a comment to folks that like accurate doom from the BBC. You just will have to wait...