Rouhani threatens to block all Gulf oil exports if Iran can’t export oil

In this photo released by official website of the office of the Iranian Presidency, President Hassan Rouhani attends an annual Islamic Unity Conference in Tehran, Iran, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. (AP)
Updated 04 December 2018
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Rouhani threatens to block all Gulf oil exports if Iran can’t export oil

  • US officials intend to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero
  • This is a response to an effort to curb the Islamic Republic’s missile program and regional influence

GENEVA: Iran has threatened to block the waterway in which oil exports are shipped on Tuesday, with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani reiterating that the United States will not be able to stop the country from exporting its oil and any move to prevent Iranian crude shipments passing through the Gulf.
The United States has imposed sanctions on Iran and US officials say they aim to reduce Iran’s oil exports to zero in a bid to curb the Islamic Republic’s missile program and regional influence.
“America should know that we are selling our oil and will continue to sell our oil and they are not able to stop our oil exports,” President Hassan Rouhani said in a televised speech during a trip to the northern Iranian city of Shahroud.
“If one day they want to prevent the export of Iran’s oil, then no oil will be exported from the Persian Gulf,” he said.
Tensions have risen between Iran and the United States after US President Donald Trump withdrew from a multilateral nuclear deal in May and reimposed sanctions on the Islamic Republic.
Rouhani said the United States would not succeed in cutting Iran’s economic ties with the region and the world.
Iranian Vice President Eshaq Jahangiri also said on Tuesday that US sanctions were hitting vulnerable people in Iran.
“When (Americans) say their target is the Iranian government and there won’t be pressure on the sick, the elderly and the weak in society, it’s a lie,” Jahangiri said, according to the state-run Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA).
A senior military official was quoted as saying on Tuesday that Iran wants to increase its missiles’ range, a move that would irk the US, which views Tehran’s weapons program as a regional security threat.

“One of our most important programs is increasing the range of missiles and ammunition,” said Iranian air force head, Brig.  Gen. Aziz Nasirzadeh, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

“We don’t see any limitations for ourselves in this field.” Iran’s military has cited 2,000 km as the current missile range, and said US bases in Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar, plus US aircraft carriers in the Gulf, were within range.

Nasirzadeh did not give details on how far Iran would like to increase that range, according to the Fars report.

Tehran insists its missile program is purely defensive but has threatened to disrupt oil shipments through the Strait of Hormuz in the Gulf, if Washington tries to strangle its exports.


Iran can expand range of ballistic missiles: Guards commander

Updated 10 December 2018
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Iran can expand range of ballistic missiles: Guards commander

  • The Iranian government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities
  • Last month, Hajjizadeh said that US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles

GENEVA: Iran has the ability to build ballistic missiles with a broader range, a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Monday, according to the semi-official Fars News agency.
Iran’s missiles currently cover a range of 2000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and many “enemy bases” are within 800 kilometers of the Islamic Republic, Amirali Hajjizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, was cited as saying.
US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. He said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
“We have the ability to build missiles with a broader range,” Hajjizadeh said, according to Fars News. He added, “We don’t have limitations from a technical perspective or by conventions with regard to missile range.”
The Iranian government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities, particularly its missile program run by the Guards.
Last month, Hajjizadeh said that US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles.
In October, the Revolutionary Guards fired missiles at Daesh militants in Syria after the extremist group took responsibility for an attack at a military parade in Iran that killed 25 people, nearly half of them members of the Guards.