Petrol wars: Iran threatens to blockade Gulf oil exports over United States sanctions

Petrol wars: Iran threatens to blockade Gulf oil exports over United States sanctions

In return, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and other Iranian officials warned the USA against attempting to curb Tehran's oil trade, promising to block the Strait of Hormuz, the only exit from the Persian Gulf - one of the key sources of oil exports in the world.

"America should is not capable of preventing the export of Iran's oil", Mr Rouhani said at a televised rally in Semnan Province on Tuesday.

USA officials have said they intend to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero through robust sanctions in an effort to curb the Islamic Republic's missile programme and regional influence.

In December, the USA 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 United States fleet in the region.

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.

"It is a grave and escalating threat, and nations around the world, not just Europe, need to do everything they can to be targeting Iran's missile programme", he added. "It should be studied why the United States is angry with Iran and Iranians".

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His threat was welcomed by many Iranian officials, including hard-liners such as Gen Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard's powerful Quds Force.

"If it ever tries to do oil will be exported from the [Arabian] Gulf", he added.

Tehran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz and halt Persian Gulf oil exports if its own tankers are blocked from using the waterway. "The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in global waterways".

It appears the presence of the USS John C. Stennis is aimed at preventing such a possibility of Iran blocking the Strait of Hormuz from happening.

"No hyperinflation, no massive unemployment will threaten us. I think they understand that very clearly", Hook said late last week.

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