Reuters) – A senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander said on Thursday the
United States was not in a position to tell Tehran “what to do in the Strait of
Hormuz,” state television reported, after the U.S. said it would preserve oil
shipments in the Gulf.

Tehran’s threat to block traffic through the crucial passage for Middle
Eastern crude suppliers followed the European Union’s decision to tighten
sanctions on Iran over its nuclear program, as
well as accompanying moves by the United States to tighten unilateral

Iran’s English-language Press TV quoted Hossein Salami as saying: “Any threat
will be responded by threat … We will not relinquish our strategic moves if Iran’s vital interests are undermined by any means.”

Separately, Salami was quoted as saying by the official IRNA news agency:
“Americans are not in a position whether to allow Iran to close off the Strait
of Hormuz.”

The U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it would not allow any disruption to
shipping in the Strait of Hormuz, a strip of water separating Oman and

At loggerheads with the West over its nuclear program, Iran said earlier it
would stop the flow of oil through the strait if sanctions were imposed on its
crude exports.

The Iranian threat pushed up international oil prices on Tuesday although
they slipped back on Wednesday in thin trade.

Analysts say that Iran could potentially cause havoc in the Strait of Hormuz…

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