Iran Backs Off Threat to Close Strait of Hormuz

TEHRAN, Iran – Iran backed down Saturday from its earlier threats to block the strategic oil route through the Strait of Hormuz, apparently confirming U.S. assertions that such threats packed more “bluster” than bite.

Talk of blocking the strategic oil route through the Strait of Hormuz is a discussion of the past, a commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard said Saturday, but he said Iran had other, unspecified strategies for reacting to any Western aggression.

“Discourse about closing the Strait of Hormuz belongs to five years ago. Today’s debate in the Islamic Republic of Iran contains new layers and the time has not come to raise it,” Gen. Masoud Jazayeri said in comments posted Saturday on the Guard’s website,

Jazayeri did not elaborate.

The latest developments came on the same day that the country’s top nuclear negotiator announced Iran is proposing a new round of talks about its controversial nuclear program with the six world powers. The West recently imposed new sanctions over Tehran’s uranium enrichment program, which is a potential pathway to making nuclear arms.

U.S. military officials had warned Wednesday that any attempt by Iran to disrupt oil shipments at the mouth of the Persian Gulf “will not be tolerated.” Pentagon spokesman George Little described the Strait of Hormuz, as an “economic lifeline” vital to stability in the region.

And a spokeswoman for the U.S. Navy’s 5th fleet warned Iran against d… >>>

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