Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Iran threatens to close Hormuz strait as United States squeezes oil exports

Iran threatens to close Hormuz strait as United States squeezes oil exports

The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran and U.S. officials say they aim to reduce Iran's oil exports to zero in a bid to curb the Islamic Republic's missile programme and regional influence.

"If someday, the United States decides to block Iran's oil (exports), no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf", the state TV quoted Rouhani as saying.

"America should know that we are selling our oil and will continue to sell our oil and they are not able to stop our oil exports", he said.

In December, the USA announced it would be sending an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf in the near future after a decades-long absence of the United States fleet in the region.

Iran did not confirm or deny that it carried out a missile test, but Tehran has insisted it is not pursuing nuclear weapons and the missiles and not created to carry nukes.

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. "We will build an Iran, which is more powerful than ever before". -MEHR News Agency Related: Are Oil Markets About To Turn Around?

Meanwhile, the USA has sent an aircraft carrier strike group to the Persian Gulf, marking the end to a six-month absence of such a presence in the waters, The Wall Street Journal reported. "The United States will continue to work with our partners to ensure freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce in worldwide waterways", Hook said, according to the Associated Press news agency.

"This appears to be propaganda aimed at discouraging people", Zarif added. Officials also said the carrier group will support the USA war in Afghanistan as well as operations against remnant ISIS pockets in Iraq and Syria.

In recent comments over Iran's developing ballistic missile program, the State Department's special representative on Iran, Brian Hook, said the "military option" is on the table.

"No hyperinflation, no massive unemployment will threaten us".

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