Iran warns to block oil through Strait of Hormuz

Military analysts have cast doubt on Iran’s willingness to block the Strait of Hormuz.

Updated: Jul 15, 2012, 15:24 PM IST

Tehran: Iran has said that it could prevent even ``a single drop of oil`` to pass through the Strait of Hormuz if its security is threatened.

The country`s naval chief, Admiral Ali Fadavi, issued the warning, as international concern over Tehran`s nuclear activity continues to progress without hindrance.

News24 quoted Fadavi, a naval commander in Iran`s elite Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), as saying that Tehran would increase its military presence in international waters if threats against it continued.

"If they [the US] do not obey international laws and the IRGC`s warnings, it will have very bad consequences for them," Admiral Fadavi said.

"The IRGC`s naval forces have had the ability since the [Iran-Iraq] war to completely control the Strait of Hormuz and not allow even a single drop of oil to pass through," he said.

"IRGC special naval forces are present on all of the Islamic Republic of Iran`s ships in the Indian Ocean and to its east and west, to prevent any movement,” he added.

"This IRGC naval force presence in international waters will increase," Admiral Fadavi warned.

Iran has repeatedly threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz shipping channel, through which 40 percent of the world`s sea-borne oil exports passes, in retaliation to sanctions placed on its crude exports by Western powers.

The sanctions were imposed over Iran’s nuclear programme, which the West believes is aimed at creating an atomic weapon. Iran, however, has said that the programme is for peaceful energy purposes.

The United States has beefed up its presence in the Gulf, adding a navy ship to help mine-clearing operations if Iran were to act on threats to block the strait. Military analysts have cast doubt on Iran’s willingness to block the waterway, given the massive US-led retaliation it would have to face.