Iran warns of firm response if Israel acts against its oil shipments

14 Mars, 2019, 13:31 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Iran warns of firm response if Israel acts against its oil shipments

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Iran will respond firmly to any Israeli naval action against its oil shipments, Iran's defence minister said on Wednesday, in comments that came a week after Israel's prime minister said its navy could act against Iranian oil "smuggling" to enforce United States sanctions.

Iran's Minister of Defense Amir Hatami was quoted as saying by the state news agency IRNA that Tehran had the military capabilities to confront any Israeli intervention, and said the global community would also not accept such action.

Iran's Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami said Iran considers such actions against its oil sales "piracy", warning Tel Aviv that it will face a tough response if it approaches Iran's oil tankers. This comes after US sanctions on its oil and shipping industries scared Western banks, insurers, and commercial shipping operators, Reuters reported, citing sources from Iran and from Western countries.

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"The armed forces of the Islamic Republic will surely provide the security of the shipping lines and the security of the global waterways for themselves and all those who are in the area of responsibility", he noted.

The warning comes a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to stop what he called Iran's "oil smuggling" by intercepting tankers carrying Iranian crude. They intervened on Friday to repel pirates who attacked an Iranian oil tanker in the Gulf of Aden.

An Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander also said on Wednesday that enemies will regret any confrontation with the Islamic Republic.

The Israeli navy, whose largest vessels are missile corvettes and a small submarine fleet, is mostly active in the Mediterranean and Red seas.

He said these tankers can no longer be insured by worldwide companies and are likely to be insured by Iranian firms.

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