Iran threatens to close Hormuz strait as USA squeezes oil exports

Erika Holt
December 6, 2018

"We would like to see the European Union move sanctions that target Iran's missile programme", Hook told reporters aboard Pompeo's plane as he travelled to Brussels.

"And it should also know that if it attempts to stop Iran's oil [sales] someday, no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf", he said during a speech on Tuesday in the city of Shahroud, Semnan Province.

The Iranian president also vowed that ultimately the USA won't be able to halt Tehran's oil trade and promised that the country will emerge victorious from the confrontation with Washington.

The threat comes less than 24 hours after US officials told the Wall Street Journal that an aircraft carrier group led by the USS John C. Stennis is set to arrive in the Persian Gulf "within days" - which will bring a close what's been described as the longest period in two decades that a carrier group was absent from the region.

Iran did not confirm or deny that it carried out a missile test, but Tehran has insisted it is not pursuing nuclear weapons and the missiles and not created to carry nukes.

Rouhani said the USA animosity towards Iran has drawn no backing except from the Tel Aviv regime and a few small states, adding that Washington has even failed to win support for such a policy at the United Nations and the International Court of Justice. "It should be studied why the U.S. is angry with Iran and Iranians". His threat was welcomed by many Iranian officials, including hard-liners such as General Qassem Soleimani, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard's powerful Quds Force.

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

Meanwhile, the United States has sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf, marking the end to a six-month absence of such a presence in the waters, The Wall Street Journal reported. "The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in worldwide waterways".

The U.S. State Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"No hyperinflation, no massive unemployment will threaten us". I think they understand that.

"I think right now, while we have the military option on the table, our preference is to use all of the tools that are at our disposal diplomatically", he added.

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