Iran threatens to shut down oil flow in the event of sanctions

Iran has threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, the only sea passage for oil shipments from the Persian Gulf if the West places sanctions on the country’s oil exports.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by Iran’s vice president Mohammad-Reza Rahimi and aired on state television.

"If they (the West) impose sanctions on Iran's oil exports, then even one drop of oil cannot flow from the Strait of Hormuz," he said.

This comes as Iran is continuing the ten-day naval exercises in the Strait of Hormuz. Early reports of these maneuvers raised fears that the country might shut down the strait. The announcement proves these concerns were not groundless.

The tensions between Iran and the West heightened in early November, when the UN nuclear watchdog released its report on Iran’s nuclear activities, adding that the country is developing weapons.

The report led to the EU decision to tighten sanctions against the country, with one of the measures discussed being an oil embargo.

Dr Seyed Mohammad Marandi from the University of Tehran thinks that such an embargo would create a very difficult situation globally, “because that would mean the halt of oil exports from the Middle East and that would have a devastating effect on the global economy.

In order to resolve the conflict he thinks the West should change its strategy and abandon the policy of sanctions.

The best way is to quit threatening Iran and trying to punish ordinary Iranians and to try to behave more reasonably in a more respectable manner, and tensions in the region would decrease,” he said.

Marandi also added that the current strategy of the West and the US poses a threat to the entire world and not just to Iranians.

The American behavior is creating a dangerous situation not only for Iran but for the whole globe. The United States is basically pushing things into the direction in which everyone is going to pay a heavy price,” he concluded.