The US Navy is ready to guarantee free navigation and the flow of trade, the Central Command of the US Army said on Thursday after the Iranian Revolutionary Guard warned it would block shipments of crude through of the Strait of Hormuz if necessary.
Amid rising tensions in this strategic seaway, the European Union is proposing a plan to save a multinational nuclear deal with Tehran following Washington’s withdrawal, but Iranian President Hassan Rouhani told leaders in Paris on Thursday. Berlin that the package is insufficient.
Rouhani and some senior military commanders have threatened in recent days to halt oil shipments from Persian Gulf countries if Washington tries to strangle Tehran’s exports.
After praising Rouhani’s “firm stand” against the United States, the leader of the Revolutionary Guard said his forces are prepared to block the Strait of Hormuz, which links the Persian Gulf with the open sea.
In May, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, took his country out of the agreement that lifted sanctions against Iran in exchange for curbing its nuclear program. Washington has since told countries that they should stop buying Iranian crude from November 4, if they do not want to undergo financial measures.
Mohammad Ali Jafari, who leads the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, the most powerful military force in Iran, responded on Thursday.
If Iran can not sell its oil because of US pressure, then no other country in the region can do it, Jafari said according to the Tasnim news agency. “We hope that this plan, expressed by our president, will be implemented if necessary, we will make the enemy understand that everyone uses the Strait of Hormuz or nobody uses it,” he said.
“The United States and its partners contribute and promote security and stability in the region,” said Central Command spokesman Marina Captain Bill Urban, in an email to Reuters. “We are willing to jointly ensure free navigation and the free flow of trade where international law permits.”
Source: Swiss Info