Iran General NewsIran will not block oil passage: navy chief

Iran will not block oil passage: navy chief

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AFP: Tehran has no plans to block the Straits of Hormuz amid fears it could use the strategic oil passage as a weapon in its nuclear standoff with the West, Iran’s navy chief said on Saturday. TEHRAN (AFP) — Tehran has no plans to block the Straits of Hormuz amid fears it could use the strategic oil passage as a weapon in its nuclear standoff with the West, Iran’s navy chief said on Saturday.

“We don’t have any plans to block the Straits of Hormuz but we are ready to carry out any operation to defend our interests,” said Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, quoted by Mehr news agency.

“If the enemy wants to carry out its threats one day, the navy will deliver them a teeth-breaking response,” he said, echoing Iran’s military commanders and leaders who have vowed a crushing response to any attack.

Washington, which accuses the Islamic republic of seeking atomic weapons, has never ruled out a military option to stop Iran’s nuclear work. Tehran says its nuclear programme is for peaceful purposes.

Oil industry experts have voiced fears that a US attack could provoke Iran to block key shipping channels for oil tankers through the Straits of Hormuz leading out of the southern Gulf.

The commander said the Islamic republic planned to carry out a new round of war games in the region in February, while dismissing the beefed-up US military presence in the Gulf as “propaganda and psychological operation”.

Tehran regularly flexes its military muscle in its southern Gulf waters, showing off Iranian-made equipment and missiles.

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