Iran is threatening to shut the Strait of Hormuz, a major choke-point for oil shipments, to US vessels and its allies if the US Navy doesn’t suspend military drills in the Persian Gulf.
The intention was disclosed by deputy commander of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), General Hossein Salami, who is quoted as saying by local media that “if the Americans and their regional allies want to pass through the Strait of Hormuz and threaten us” they would not be allowed any entry.
However, the US claims that the purpose of the drills, interpreted by Iran as a potential threat, is to protect international trade routes. The drills included participation of over 30 countries from six continents taking place at major maritime trade routes including the Suez Canal, the Strait of Bab Al-Mandeb and the Strait of Hormuz.
On Wednesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry filed a formal protest with the Swiss Embassy in Tehran, objecting the US over employing “unacceptable language against the Islamic Republic of Iran and using false term for the Persian Gulf in a draft resolution.”
The protesting note “strongly condemns the United Sates for meddling in security of the Persian Gulf region” and said that “Iran will take any necessary action to maintain security, peace and stability of the Persian Gulf region,” the ministry said.
The tensions between the two countries are heating up again on the back of lifting of sanctions against Iran that have seen the country invest strenuous efforts to boost its oil exports and renew shipping ties with international partners.
World Maritime News Staff