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Iranian military officials are threatening to enact a naval blockade in the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping lane for oil in the Persian Gulf, if the United States follows through with efforts to block all of Iran’s oil exports under a rash of new economic sanctions on the Islamic Republic, according to regional reports.
Ali Jafari, commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps, or IRGC, warned the Trump administration to not “make any stupid move to halt Iran’s oil export,” vowing that if the U.S. administration follows through with this threat, Iranian forces will shut down the Strait of Hormuz for all nations, a move that could cripple the regional flow of crude oil products.
“We stand ready to put in action President Hassan Rouhani’s latest position that if Tehran were not able to export its crude oil through the Strait of Hormuz, no other country would be able to do so,” Jafari was quoted as saying in Iran’s state-controlled press.
The plan to shut down the critical shipping lane is said to be endorsed by Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, who, along with other top Iranian officials, has been working on contingency plans to combat U.S. economic sanctions on Tehran following President Donald Trump’s decision to walk away from the nuclear agreement.
Meanwhile, Iran’s representative to the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, blamed Trump for rising oil prices, claiming that the president’s rhetoric could force oil prices to rise to $100 per barrel.