Iran's Supreme Leader Warns of Closing Strait of Hormuz

22 Juillet, 2018, 19:11 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Earlier this month Rouhani hinted that Tehran may block regional oil exports if its own sales are halted

Iran will seek improved relations with its Arab neighbors in the Persian Gulf, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, Rouhani said in a speech in Tehran on Sunday, the semi-official Iranian Students' News agency reported.

"You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran's security and interests", Rouhani said, in an apparent reference to reported efforts by Washington to destabilize Iran's Islamic government.

The report also said officials in Washington have launched a campaign meant to pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups in the Middle East by creating unrest among its citizens.

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has supported a suggestion by President Hassan Rouhani who hinted earlier this month that Tehran may block regional oil exports if its own sales are stopped following the US' withdrawal from a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.

Current and former US officials said the campaign paints Iranian leaders in a harsh light, at times using information that is exaggerated or contradicts other official pronouncements, including comments by previous administrations.

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Oil-rich Iran has been seeking a way out of an economic crisis with its currency losing value rapidly as concern has grown about sanctions after the US backed out of a multilateral agreement with Iran in May.

"No one who really understands politics would say they will block Iran's oil exports, and we have many straits, the Strait of Hormuz is just one of those", Rouhani said. Separately, a top Iranian military commander warned that the Trump government might be preparing to invade Iran. Zarif said Iranian diplomats, by negotiating the nuclear deal, dealt a serious blow to what he called Israel's spreading of Iranophobia.

Its currency has plunged nearly 50 percent in value in the past six months against the USA dollar, prompting a rare strike earlier this month by traders in Tehran's Grand Bazaar.

Iran and other members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, including Saudi Arabia and Iraq, ship much of their crude through the Strait of Hormuz.

Rouhani's apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighbouring countries came in reaction to looming USA sanctions and efforts by Washington to force other countries to stop buying Iranian oil following the U.S. withdrawal from the nuclear deal.

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