ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I’m Robert Siegel. The U.S. and Iran are on a collision course. Washington says it intends to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. Iran denies it’s doing that. But the International Atomic Energy Agency reported last month that it has serious concerns that Iran’s nuclear program has a military side, and that Iran is not cooperating enough with the agency’s inspectors. With the U.S. and Europe both on the verge of tighter sanctions against Iran, the Iranians this week conducted naval exercises in the Persian Gulf and warned that in response to more sanctions Iran would close off the Strait of Hormuz, the gateway to the Gulf, through which 20 percent of the world’s oil passes. Here’s Iranian Navy chief Habibollah Sayari, as translated by Reuters.