Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Major General Mohammad Hossein Baqeri made it clear that the country has no intention of blocking the Strait of Hormuz unless the hostile measures of enemies would leave Iran with no other choice.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a gathering of Police commanders in Tehran on Sunday, Major General Baqeri said the Iranian Armed Forces are in charge of security of the Strait of Hormuz.
Tehran wants the Strait of Hormuz to remain open with sustained security, he noted, saying the Iranian oil and commodities are being freighted through the strait just like the shipments of other countries.
“If anybody is to make the Strait of Hormuz unsafe, we will certainly counter it, and if our oil is not to be shipped over through the Strait of Hormuz, then the oil of others will definitely not go through the strait either,” the top general underlined.
“This would not mean the closure of Strait of Hormuz, we have no intention of closing it, unless the enmity of enemies would reach a limit that there is no other choice. That day, we will be fully capable of closing the strait,” Major General Baqeri added.
Highlighting Iran’s strict control over the southern waters, the commander said American warships and trade vessels have to respond to the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Navy when crossing the Strait of Hormuz several times a day.
He said the most recent reporters show that American forces continue to respond to the IRGC Navy’s questions and there is no sign of a change in their behavior at the Strait of Hormuz.
In comments on April 24, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei said the US’ attempts to block the export of Iranian oil will get nowhere as Tehran will be exporting any amount of crude it needs and wants.
Describing a cut in Iran’s reliance on the export of oil as an opportunity, the Leader said such an opportunity will be used for further reliance on internal capabilities.
“Although the sanctions pave the way for problems in certain cases, they will benefit the country if they are dealt with correctly and logically,” Ayatollah Khamenei said.
Last week, the White House said that US President Donald Trump “has decided not to reissue” waivers regarding sanctions against countries importing Iranian oil when the waivers expire in early May.