US warns Iran over threat to block oil route

The US Navy has said it will not tolerate disruption to a vital oil-trade route, following an Iranian threat to close it.

Iran warned it would shut the Strait of Hormuz if the West imposed more sanctions over its nuclear programme.

The US and its allies believe Iran is trying to develop a nuclear weapon – a charge Tehran denies.

Reacting to Iran’s warning, a US Fifth Fleet spokeswoman said it was “always ready to counter malevolent actions”.

The Strait of Hormuz links the Gulf – and the oil-producing states of Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) – to the Indian Ocean. About 40% of the world’s tanker-borne oil passes through it.

The US maintains a naval presence in the Gulf, largely to ensure the transport of oil remains open.

The strait “is not only important for security and stability in the region, but also is an economic lifeline for countries in the Gulf, including Iran”, Pentagon spokesman George Little said.

“Raising the temperature on tensions in the Gulf is unhelpful”, he said, but added that he was unaware of any hostile action directed against US vessels.

US Fifth Fleet spokeswoman Rebecca Rebarich told the BBC the navy would be ready to act if required: “The US Navy is a flexible, multi-capable force committed to regional security and stability, always ready to counter malevolent actions to ensure freedom of navigation.”

Closure ‘easy’
Western nations recently imposed new sanctions against Tehran following a UN report that said Iran had carried out tests related to “development of a nuclear device”.

Further measures being considered to target Iran’s oil and financial sectors have brought a furious response from Tehran.

Continue reading the main story
Strait of Hormuz

Narrow strip of water separating Oman and Iran
34 miles (54km) across at shortest point
Used by a third of the world’s tanker traffic
Approximately 15.5m barrels of oil and 2m barrels of oil products pass through each day
Most oil destined for Asia, US and western Europe
50% of China’s oil passes through strait
Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi warned that “not a drop of oil will pass through the Strait of Hormuz” if sanctions are widened and Iran’s navy chief Admiral Habibollah Sayari said that closing the strait would be “easy”.

“The enemies will only drop their plots when we put them back in their place,” Mr Rahimi was quoted as saying on Tuesday by the official news agency Irna.

Adm Sayari later told Iran’s Press TV that closing the Strait of Hormuz would be “really easy” for Iran’s armed forces “or, as Iranians say, easier than drinking a glass of water”.

“But right now, we don’t need to shut it as we have the Sea of Oman under control, and we can control the transit,” he added.

Iran’s threats to close the strait have not flustered markets and oil prices actually fell after a senior Saudi oil official said that Gulf Arab nations were ready to offset any loss of Iranian crude.

‘Non-compliance’
Earlier, US State Department deputy spokesman Mark Toner said the Iranian threats were simply “another attempt… to distract attention from the real issue, which is their continued non-compliance with their international nuclear obligations”.

Iran’s navy has been staging wargames in international waters to the east of the strait.

Adm Sayari said the manoeuvres were designed to show Gulf neighbours the power of Iran’s military over the zone.

Washington and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities if sanctions and diplomacy fail.

Iran has vowed to respond by attacking Israeli and US interests in the region.

An embargo on Iranian oil exports has been considered before but dismissed as it could also drive up global oil prices and harm Western economies, particularly in Europe.

It is believed the new measures could cut Tehran off from global energy markets without raising the price of fuel.

More on This Story
Iran nuclear crisis
Q&A: Iran sanctions
Case against Iran strengthened
White House not on war path
Fuelling Bushehr
Q&A: Nuclear issue
Squeezing Iran: Oil and sanctions
UN sanctions
Satellite images: Bushehr reactor

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About RICK MILLER

Hello, my name is Rick Miller, welcome to comprehensive photography. In the name 'comprehensive', means to have a pretty solid grasp about the art of contemporary photography, and how the tools (both hardware and software) are all used together to produce a very precious product to meet your needs. Photography simply means that we are able to capture an image through the use of light and film, or, by using digital chips in very sophisticated cameras. My guess is that you "GOOGLED" something about photography to find us here on this website (don't you love Goggle?). I live in Santa Rosa and Eureka, California, about 40 miles (Eureka is a bit further north) north of the golden gate bridge with my wife Pat and our two boys — Ben, and Jeremy. My daughter, Sarah, is grown and lives in Portland Oregon. I am strictly a digital photographer, although I have purchased thousands of rolls of Fugi ASA 400 (now called ISO, the digital cameras auto-correction, for light compensation). Our negatives are all digitized and burned onto a DVD. I've been shooting digital for over five years, with my previous 28 working for AT&T (in digital transport via fiber, DS1, and DS3) — during which time I was a manager in charge of 911, and all "First Responder" communications, for 5 years. I shoot mostly with Canon products — my two camera bodies, and all my lenses are Canon. I edit in a variety of software. Adobe Lightroom and I use Apple's "Aperture" (I'm a Mac person), "Light Room" and "Adobe CS4 Extended". These are tough economic times, anyone out of work and financial issues knows what I mean. I also know how important it is to document special times in our personal lives, without costing a lot. I love working with you, and creating a quality product that will best capture those special moments in time forever. So don't let these tough times stop you from documenting YOUR special times, let's get together and make memories. Have you ever been feeling a little low and maybe started thinking of someone special, and then gone to a photo album or watched a slide show and re-filled your heart with joy? It is truly worth it. This website is growing very fast, it is meant for business but it is also meant for fun (Thank You Rod Remelin). Please feel free to shoot me an E-Mail, and tell me what you like, hate or feel indifferent about. Thank You for being here Sincerely Rick Miller

Posted on December 29, 2011, in GOD, HUMAN RIGHTS, PHOTOJOURNALISM, POLITICS, US ECONOMY, WORLD ECONOMY and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. The AIPAC lobby, Ron Paul’s proposed agenda (if elected) may scare some into thinking Israel is like the 51st. State, sorry no way!
    Iraq was a BS war and our “boots on ground” know it. Another one will be boots on the ground…domestic. Angry people with, yes, the right tools and skill sets will make life tough in the US if we go into another BS war…yes,I mean Iran (for Israel).
    Hey media, get your 5d mark ii’s ready, RED shows up well with that camera.

  2. theglobalistreport

    Just another sign that the U.S. and Israel are preparing to attack Iran. Both the Iranians and Americans have been publicly stating their position against each other… I think it’s only a matter of time now before we see the next conflict in the middle east?

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