Unic Press UK: The Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Major General Mohammad Baqeri has said that the government would make public any decision to block the flow of oil exports through the Strait of Hormuz.
Baqeri spoke Monday in the capital city of Iran, Tehran, during a military ceremony, flaying the United States for accusing the Islamic Republic of last week attack on two oil vessels – a Norwegian-owned MT Front Altair and a Japanese-owned Kokuka Courageous – loaded with petroleum products in the Gulf of Oman [also known as the Sea of Oman], which triggered a fire on the MT Frint Altair. The military chief said:
“They must be aware of the reality that if the Islamic Republic of Iran were determined to prevent export of oil from the Persian Gulf, that determination would be realized in full and announced in public, in view of the power of the country and its Armed Forces. “Iran will not take any covert or deceptive steps like the deceitful and terrorist US, which has made the world insecure, along with its regional and international stooges,” the Press TV reports.
There’s been serious tensions between the U.S. and Iran over the years, escalating in May 8, 2018 when the U.S. President Donald Trump terminated the U.S. participation in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA); and imposed another round of U.S. sanctions against Iran. Trump had claimed that the JCPOA – Iran nuclear deal – had been a bad one for the world and America, insisting that a new agreement is long overdue.
Washington says it’s open to a negotiation, but Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif said in May 2019 that there won’t be talks, labeling the U.S. a “bully.”
Last December, during his speech in the city of Shahroud, Semnan Province, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani had warned the United States, threatening to block the shipping of oil through the Persian Gulf. “The US should know [this] that we are selling and will continue to sell our oil and it will not be able to block Iran’s oil exports. 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,” Rouhani said.
The Persian Gulf includes Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, and United Arab Emirates.
According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the United States: “…the Strait of Hormuz is the world’s most important chokepoint, with an oil flow of 18.5 million b/d in 2016. The Strait of Hormuz connects the Persian Gulf with the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea, and in 2015 its daily flow of oil accounted for 30% of all seaborne-traded crude oil and other liquids. More than 30% of global liquefied natural gas trade also transited the Strait of Hormuz in 2016.”