Hormuz Strait either for all, or for none: Iranian commander

06 July 2018, 10:16 | Isaac Mcdaniel

We will keep Gulf open despite Iran threat: US

David Peterlin

In May, U.S. President Donald Trump pulled out of the deal under which sanctions on Iran were lifted in return for curbs to its nuclear program.

The bellicose interpretation was virtually universal among United States officials and media outlets, and echoed on Thursday when the Iranian Revolutionary Guards praised Rouhani's statement, and said shipping of oil through the Strait was for "all or none".

Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said Iran and the remaining parties to the JCPOA have agreed to continue talking, including on economic measures, over how to save the nuclear deal after the U.S. withdrawal.

Rouhani, who visited Switzerland and Austria this week to rally support for the nuclear deal's survival, said in a phone call with Macron that the package "does not meet all our demands", Iran's state news agency IRNA reported.

Washington has since told allies they must stop buying the OPEC producer's oil from November 4 or face financial consequences.

If Iran can not sell its oil under U.S. pressure, then no other regional country will be allowed to either, said Mohammad Ali Jafari, who commands the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Iran's most powerful military force. The principal benefit Iran has experienced under the deal is a doubling of its oil exports to around 2.8 million barrels a day.

On Thursday, Jafari hailed what he called Rouhani's "decisive" stance against Washington's threats, expressing the hope that the warning would be put into action if the need arises.

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Revolutionary approaches in dealing with the enemy and the USA on top enables us to give a lesson to the enemy that the use of Strait of Hormuz will be for all or for none, stressed the commander.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards have also warned that they may block oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in response to USA calls to ban all Iranian oil exports.

As The Guardian notes, the threats "will bring back memories of the latter years of the 1980s Iran-Iraq War, when U.S. forces attacked Iranian territorial waters after a United States ship struck an Iranian mine".

The five powers' top diplomats were due to join Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif from 0900 GMT in the Austrian capital, where the accord was signed in 2015.

The new round of diplomacy has been clouded after security services said they had foiled an alleged plot to bomb a Paris rally by an exiled Iranian opposition group, the People's Mujahedeen of Iran. "To save the deal, other signatories should compensate for USA sanctions", a senior Iranian official told Reuters on Friday.

He said that up to now, the package of incentives proposed to Iran were "disappointing", and that they "lacked an operational solution and a specific method for cooperation, and featured just a set of general commitments".

In a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in June, President Rouhani said Russia plays a key role in maintaining the nuclear deal after U.S. withdrawal.



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