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 Mohammad Reza 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,
"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.
First Published: Wednesday, December 28, 2011, 00:17