Iran Not to Allow US to Threaten Persian Gulf: FM
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said the Islamic Republic is not going to let the US undermine the Persian Gulf’s security.
“We have been very clear that we have no interest in escalation (of tensions with the US),” Zarif said in an interview with Al Jazeera TV, which is to be aired on Saturday.
“We have been clear that the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz are our lifeline. We depend on them for our livelihood, and we want them safe, secure, and free for navigation of all countries, including Iran,” he said.
“As we have stated before, Iran won’t permit the US to threaten the Persian Gulf,” the foreign minister added.
Elsewhere in the interview, Zarif said, “We will continue to sell our oil and we will seek customers, and we will always remember those who worked with us during times of difficulty.”
The US has vowed to cut Iran’s oil exports down to zero, prompting Tehran to warn that it will not allow any other country to export oil through the Strait of Hormuz if the Iranian crude oil is not allowed to pass the strategic corridor.
Last Sunday, Iran’s top military commander said Iran wants the strait — through which nearly one-third of all oil traded by sea passes — to remain open and secure, warning that the country will not allow anyone to destabilize the waters.
“As oil and commodities of other countries are passing through the Strait of Hormuz, ours are also moving through it,” said Chairman of the Chiefs of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Baqeri.
Iran “will definitely confront anyone who attempts to destabilize the Strait of Hormuz, and if our crude is not to pass through the Strait of Hormuz, others' (crude) will not pass either.”
The Iranian commander explained, “This does not mean (that we are going to) close the Strait of Hormuz. We do not intend to shut it unless the enemies’ hostile acts will leave us with no other option. We will be fully capable of closing it on that day.”