Iran's Rouhani threatens to cut off Gulf oil

President Rouhani speaking in the city of Shahroud Semnan Province

Tehran has yet again threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz, a key passageway for shipments of oil from the Persian Gulf, as the United States seeks to squeeze Iranian oil exports.

"We would like to see the European Union move sanctions that target Iran's missile programme", Hook told reporters aboard Pompeo's plane as he travelled to Brussels.

"If it ever tries to do so.no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf", he added.

Rouhani last threatened to close the Gulf in July when he warned the USA "should not play with the lion's tail".

"And it should also know that if it attempts to stop Iran's oil [sales] someday, no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf", he said during a speech on Tuesday in the city of Shahroud, Semnan Province.

Rouhani has made similar threats previously, especially after President Donald Trump threatened to decrease Iran's oil export to nil.

Rouhani said the USA animosity towards Iran has drawn no backing except from the Tel Aviv regime and a few small states, adding that Washington has even failed to win support for such a policy at the United Nations and the International Court of Justice.

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The US and Israel can not tolerate the existence of a powerful Iran, he said, adding that the Iranian nation would never bow down to them.

Earlier, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif denied a Reuters report that said a European mechanism to set up an account to trade with Iran and beat the newly reimposed U.S. sanctions may not cover oil sales, the Iranian foreign ministry website reported.

The Iranian Students' News Agency reported, citing Navy Commander Rear Admiral Hossein Khanzadi, that Iran has deployed 58 fleets to the northern Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, situated just outside of the Persian Gulf - the source to a major part of the world's oil exports.

It appears the presence of the USS John C. Stennis is aimed at preventing such a possibility of Iran blocking the Strait of Hormuz from happening.

Rouhani further noted that Washington had failed in its declared aims of stopping Iran's crude exports, choking its trade with the world, and isolating the country regionally and internationally.

But the agency quoted diplomats as saying that, with USA threats of retribution for sanctions-busting unrelenting, the goals of the nascent trade mechanism could be scaled back to encompass only less sensitive items such as humanitarian and food products.

Following incendiary remarks by United States officials thrown at Tehran, Iran's deputy commander of the regular armed forces said that the military was "prepared" to protect Iranian oil tankers.

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