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US Navy: Disruption in Straight of Hormuz will 'not be tolerated'
Dec 28, 2011, 19:22 GMT
Iranian navy soldiers take part in a military exercise in the straight of Homruz in the Oman Sea, 28 December 2011. EPA/ALI MOHAMMADI / HANDOUT
Washington - The US Navy on Wednesday said it would not accept any disruption by Iran in the free flow of goods through the Strait of Hormuz.
'Any disruption will not be tolerated,' US 5th Fleet spokesperson Lt Rebecca Rebarich told dpa in an email. 'Anyone who threatens to disrupt freedom of navigation in an international strait is clearly outside the community of nations.'
The statement is the latest in a recent spate of sabre rattling between Iran and Western nations.
Iran's navy commander said Wednesday that Iran could easily block oil flows through the Strait of Hormuz, a vital transit route for Persian Gulf oil, if Western governments impose further sanctions on the Islamic state for lack of cooperation with the international community on its nuclear programme.
'Blocking the Strait of Hormuz would be as easy for us as drinking a glass of water, but for the time being there is no need to do so,' Admiral Habibollah Sayari told Iranian Press TV.
Iranian Vice President Mohammd-Reza Rahimi was quoted Tuesday by that country's official news agency that if Western nations sanctioned Iranian oil, 'then we would not allow one drop of oil to cross the Strait of Hormuz.'
Rhetoric on both sides has appeared to sharpen in recent days, as just a week ago Iran's Foreign Ministry said Tehran had no plans to close the strategic waterway.
'We have several times announced that closing the Strait of Hormuz has never been on our agenda as we believe in peace and tranquillity in the region,' Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said.
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