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Iran’s Military is Ready to Protect Oil Tankers against Threats, Deputy Commander

Iran responds to US threat that the ships will be “floating liability” asserting that Iran’s armed forces will protect Iranian oil tankers.

 “Iran’s armed forces…are prepared today as in the past to protect our fleet of oil tankers against any threats so that it can continue to use marine waterways,” said Rear-Admiral Mahmoud Mousavi, a deputy commander of the regular armed forces, according to the semi-official news agency ISNA.

 “From the Suez Canal to the Strait of Malacca and all choke-points in between, Iranian tankers are a floating liability,” U.S. Special Representative for Iran Brian Hook had said.

Iranian media reported his remarks as a threat against Iranian tankers that carry Iran’s crude and oil products..

“Iran’s armed forces have the preparedness to protect our commercial fleet…as they have in the past 40 years,” Mousavi  said.

Hook also raised the possibility that countries and port operators could face U.S. penalties for facilitating what he called Iran’s “illicit activities” if they allowed Iranian ships access to international waterways and port facilities.

Mohammad Rastad, head of Iran’s Ports and Maritime Organization, said Tehran would file a complaint next week to the International Maritime Organization over “cruel U.S. sanctions and restrictions on maritime transport,” according to the state news agency IRNA.

Iranian officials have threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping route, if the United States attempts to stop the Islamic Republic’s oil exports.  

To Hook’s remarks that the sanctions had  already cost Iran billions of dollars in oil revenue since May, Iranian vice-president Eshaq Jahangiri answered that Iran had sold as much oil as it needed to.

 

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