Тhe U.S. Military Central Command on Thursday stated that the U.S. Navy is standing ready to ensure free navigation and the flow of commerce. The statement was a response to Iran’s warning that they would block oil shipments of other countries through the Strait of Hormuz if necessary.
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, backed by his senior military commanders, threatened to disrupt oil shipments from the Gulf countries if Washington tries to cut Tehran’s exports.
Praising Rouhani’s “firm stance” against the United States, the head of the Revolutionary Guards on Thursday announced that Iran’s forces were ready to block the strait which links the Gulf to the open sea, Reuters reported.
After President Donald Trump pulled out of a multinational deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear program, Washington told countries they must stop buying Iranian oil from Nov. 4 or face financial measures.
“If Iran cannot sell its oil under U.S. pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to either,” said Mohammad Ali Jafari, who commands the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran’s most powerful military force.
“We are hopeful that this plan expressed by our president will be implemented if needed … We will make the enemy understand that either all can use the Strait of Hormuz or no one,” Jafari was quoted as saying by Tasnim news agency.
The Strait of Hormuz is the most important oil transit channel in the world with about one-fifth of global oil consumption passing through each day.
“The U.S. and its partners provide and promote security and stability in the region,” Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said in an email to Reuters.