Retreating from threat, Iran says it does not intend to close Strait of Hormuz

Published: Updated:

After the Iranian president Hassan Rouhani hinted on Tuesday during his visit to Switzerland that Tehran could obstruct oil exports from neighboring countries if sanctions were imposed on Iran’s oil exports, it retreated from its threat.

This followed a swift response by the spokesperson of the United States military’s Central Command on Thursday when he said that the US and its allies in the region are ready “to ensure the freedom of navigation and the free flow of commerce wherever international law allows.”

The Central Command spokesman Navy Captain Bill Urban said in an email to Reuters that the US Navy stands ready to ensure freedom of navigation and free flow of commerce.

SEE ALSO: Reacting to Iran’s threat, US Navy says will protect free flow of commerce

Meanwhile, the head of the Iranian parliamentary committee for national security and foreign policy MP Hashmatullah Flahat Bisha said on Thursday that Iran cannot close the Strait of Hormuz.

On the underlying threat behind Rouhani’s statement t to close the Strait, which was later backed by the commander of the Quds Force in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Qassim Soleimani, Iranian MP Bisha said that Rouhani did not mean by these words, to close the Strait of Hormuz.

He also stressed that Iran does not intend to violate international treaties, adding that “American actions against Iran is an example of Washington’s lack of respect for international treaties,” as he puts it.

On Wednesday, Qasem Soleimani said in a letter to President Rouhani that the Revolutionary Guard “is ready to implement a policy that hinders regional oil exports if the United States bans Iranian oil sales.”

The Strait of Hormuz is a strategic artery linking Middle East crude producers to key markets in Asia Pacific, Europe, North America and beyond.