(Persia Digest) – Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of Iran has said: “If Iran’s oil cannot pass through the Strait of Hormuz, then oil from other states will definitely not be passing through it.”
According to Persia Digest (PD), following the US decision to force other countries to stop buying oil from Iran, speculations on the possibility of Iran’s move to close the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation gained more weight.
Last week, the commander of the Naval Force of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) had reacted to the US move by saying: “If Iran is banned from using the Strait of Hormuz, then we will close it.”
Meanwhile, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif later said on the sidelines of his latest visit to New York: “It's up to our military to decide about closing the Strait of Hormuz.”
Major General Mohammad Bagheri, the Chief of Staff for the Armed Forces of Iran, commented on the issue by saying: “Iran’s armed forces are responsible for maintaining security in the Strait of Hormuz; we seek a secure, open Strait. However, if anyone decides to make the Strait of Hormuz insecure for us, we will definitely confront it and if our oil does not pass through the Strait, then no oil will pass through it.”
Bagheri reiterated: “This does not mean that the Strait of Hormuz will be closed. We will not close it unless the enemies’ hostilities reach a point where we have no other options. On that day, we are completely capable of closing the Strait of Hormuz.”
He continued by saying: “US military warships, trade vessels and oil tankers moving through the Strait of Hormuz have to be accountable to the IRGC who is in charge of maintaining its security. Reports reaching us until yesterday indicated that they were answering all questions and there were no signs of any changes in the routine of the Strait.”
According to PD, President Hassan Rouhani had previously said during a visit to Switzerland in 2018: “The US has claimed it will reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero. They do not understand the meaning of this claim because it is meaningless to stop Iran’s oil exports while oil is being exported from the region. Do it if you can and bear the sequences.”
According to the US administration’s latest decision, no country can buy oil from Iran as of May 1, 2019.
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