Last Updated: Sun Jan 15, 2012 20:48 pm (KSA) 17:48 pm (GMT)

Iran says it received U.S. letter about closure of Strait of Hormuz

Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran was studying a U.S. letter regarding the possible closure of the strategic Strait of Hormuz. (Reuters)
Foreign Ministry Spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said Iran was studying a U.S. letter regarding the possible closure of the strategic Strait of Hormuz. (Reuters)

Iran said on Sunday it had received a letter from the U.S. government about the Strait of Hormuz, the crucial oil shipping lane that Tehran has threatened to close if sanctions prevent it exporting oil.

“The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, sent a letter to Mohammad Khazaie, Iran’s U.N. representative, which was conveyed by the Swiss ambassador, and finally Iraqi President Jalal Talabani delivered its contents to officials” in Iran, the official IRNA news agency quoted foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast as saying.

“We are in the process of studying the letter and if necessary we will respond.”

“Iran says that the United States has violated Iranian national sovereignty by enforcing unilateral sanctions and boycott of Central Bank of Iran which accounts for declaring war and making it difficult for Iranian oil customers to pay for Iranian oil,” IRNA news agency reported.

“Iran said that the U.S. administration must respect Iranian national sovereignty and must resolve the dispute over the national nuclear program on the negotiating table,” the agency added.

Tehran and Washington have had no direct diplomatic relations since 1979 and the Swiss embassy represents U.S. interests in Iran.

Tehran said on Saturday it had sent a letter to Washington with evidence U.S. intelligence services were involved in the assassination of a nuclear scientist last week.

Washington has said it would not tolerate any closure of the strait - the export route for one third of all seaborne traded oil - with Defense Secretary Leon Panetta has saying such a move would require a response.

Washington is beefing up its naval presence in waters just outside the Gulf in response to the threats.

Masoud Jazayeri, deputy chief of Iran's armed forces, claimed that any U.S. aggression would fail.

“Despite their propaganda, the United States knows that it does not have the ability to halt the Islamic Republic's activities in certain areas, notably in closing the Strait of Hormuz,”Jazayeri was quoted by the Fars news agency as saying on Sunday.

“The policy of Iran is to resolve the tensions and... to guarantee the security of all the traffic in the Persian Gulf.”

“But if the interests of Iran and the Islamic world are in danger, our armed forces have the ability to confront those wishing to create trouble in the region,” he added.

Tensions between the two countries have risen in recent weeks. U.S. President Barack Obama signed a bill on New Year’s Eve that, if fully implemented, would make it impossible for most countries to pay for Iranian oil.

In addition to threats about Hormuz, Iran has started enriching uranium at an underground bunker and sentencing an Iranian-American citizen to death on spying charges.

Negotiations between the West and Iran over Tehran’s nuclear program stalled one year ago.

Comments »

Post Your Comment »

Social Media »