Iran Official: U.S. Cannot Stop Us From Cutting Off World Oil Supply

U.S. military indicates it will not allow Tehran to close off Strait of Hormuz, after Tehran threatens to do so in case of western sanctions on its oil sector.

Send in e-mailSend in e-mail

The United States is in no position to advise Iran against cutting global oil supply in case of sanctions against its petroleum industry, a top Iranian commander said on Thursday.

Want to know more about Iran's nuclear standoff with the West? Sign up to's official Facebook page

A military personnel participating in the Velayat-90 war game on Sea of Oman near the Strait of Hormuz in southern Iran December 28, 2011. Credit: Reuters

The comment by deputy chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Hossein Salami came after the U.S. Fifth Fleet said on Wednesday it will not allow any disruption of traffic in the Strait of Hormuz, a crucial waterway in the distribution of worldwide oil supply.

"The free flow of goods and services through the Strait of Hormuz is vital to regional and global prosperity," said in a written response to queries from Reuters about the possibility of Iran trying to close the Strait.

Responding to the remark by U.S. forces on Thursday, Salami told Iranian state television Press TV that the “Islamic Republic of Iran asks for no other country's permission for the implementation of its defense strategies."

According to the Press TV report, the senior Iranian military official indicated that the U.S. was not in a position to give Iran permission to close the strategic waterway, adding that U.S. pressure had failed to prevent Iranian action on other issues in the past.

The U.S. navy's comments on Wednesday came a day after Iran's first vice-president warned on Tuesday that the flow of crude will be stopped from the crucial Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf if foreign sanctions are imposed on its oil exports, the country's official news agency reported.

"If they (the West) impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz," IRNA quoted Mohammad Reza Rahimi as saying.

About a third of all sea-borne oil was shipped through the Strait in 2009, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), and U.S. warships patrol the area to ensure safe passage.

Tensions over Iran's nuclear program have increased since the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reported on Nov. 8 that Tehran appears to have worked on designing a nuclear bomb and may still be pursuing research to that end. Iran strongly denies this and says it is developing nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

Iran has warned it will respond to any attack by hitting Israel and U.S. interests in the Gulf, and analysts say one way to retaliate would be to close the Strait of Hormuz.

Most of the crude exported from Saudi Arabia, Iran, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq - together with nearly all the liquefied natural gas from lead exporter Qatar - must slip through a 4-mile (6.4 km) wide shipping channel between Oman and Iran.

More on
Barak Ravid / Envoys worldwide feel brunt of Israel's worsening image
Israeli 8-year-old returns to school for first time since accosted by Haredi men
Israeli bars get smart as academia finds an unlikely late-night home



Automatic approval of subscriber comments.
From $1 for the first month

Already signed up? LOG IN


בנימין נתניהו השקת ספר

Netanyahu’s Israel Is About to Slam the Door on the Diaspora

עדי שטרן

Head of Israel’s Top Art Academy Leads a Quiet Revolution

Charles Lindbergh addressing an America First Committee rally on October 3, 1941.

Ken Burns’ Brilliant ‘The U.S. and the Holocaust’ Has Only One Problem

Skyscrapers in Ramat Gan and Tel Aviv.

Israel May Have Caught the Worst American Disease, New Research Shows

ג'אמיל דקוור

Why the Head of ACLU’s Human Rights Program Has Regrets About Emigrating From Israel


Netanyahu’s Election Win Dealt a Grievous Blow to Judaism