Monday, 17 December, 2018

Iran may block oil export from Gulf, says President Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a public speech during a trip to city of Shahroud Iran on Tuesday. Reuters Iranian President Hassan Rouhani gives a public speech during a trip to city of Shahroud Iran on Tuesday. Reuters
Pablo Mccormick | 06 December, 2018, 03:33

United States officials have said they intend to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero through robust sanctions in an effort to curb the Islamic Republic's missile programme and regional influence.

Iran President Hassan Rouhani has threatened again to close the Strait of Hormuz, the passageway for almost a third of all oil traded by sea.

"If one day they want to prevent the export of Iran's oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf", he said. Trump has vowed to eventually cut off all Iranian oil exports, but the administration has given waivers to several countries.

Rouhani last threatened to close the Gulf in July when he warned the United States "should not play with the lion's tail".

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I want him to stay so I think there's no chance (of him leaving)". We can lose the match, but not without a reaction". We were in full control of the match", he said.

Also in July, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander, Ismail Kowsari, was quoted as saying that Tehran would block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz lf the United States banned Iranian oil sales.

Iran's president downplayed the economic impact of sanctions, accusing the media of exaggerating the country's problems.

The latest inflation report from Iran's Central Bank says food prices rose 56 per cent year-on-year in October.

Washington has re-imposed its unilateral anti-Iran sanctions, including an oil embargo, after withdrawing from a landmark 2015 nuclear deal between Tehran and major powers in May in defiance of worldwide objections.

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The documentary maker warned it could lead to the collapse of civilisations and the extinction of "much of the natural world". The U.S.is also taking part, despite announcing past year that it's pulling out of the Paris accord .

"The most hostile group in America, with relation to Iran, has taken power", Rouhani said, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (Irna).

The carrier deployment, though previously scheduled, was announced after the US condemned Iran's test firing a medium-range nuclear capable ballistic missile on Sunday.

"We would like to see the European Union move sanctions that target Iran's missile programme", Hook told reporters aboard Pompeo's plane as he travelled to Brussels.

Rouhani did not say which subjects the United States wanted to negotiate about and nor did he specify whether he was referring to the Iranian calendar year, which begins in March.

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