Rouhani: If Iran can’t ex­port oil from Gulf, nobody can

China Daily (Canada) - - WORLD -

GENEVA/BRUS­SELS — Ira­nian Pres­i­dent Has­san Rouhani has made an ap­par­ent threat to dis­rupt other coun­tries’ oil ship­ments through the Gulf if Wash­ing­ton presses ahead with ef­forts to halt Ira­nian oil ex­ports.

The United States has im­posed sanc­tions on Iran and US of­fi­cials said they aim to re­duce Iran’s oil ex­ports to zero in a bid to curb the Is­lamic Repub­lic’s mis­sile pro­gram and re­gional in­flu­ence.

“Amer­ica should know that we are sell­ing our oil and will con­tinue to sell our oil and they are not able to stop our oil ex­ports,” Rouhani said in a tele­vised speech dur­ing a trip to the north­ern Ira­nian city of Shahroud.

“If one day they want to pre­vent the ex­port of Iran’s oil, then no oil will be ex­ported from the Per­sian Gulf.”

Rouhani made sim­i­lar com­ments in July.

Also in July, an Ira­nian Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Guards com­man­der, Is­mail Kowsari, was quoted as say­ing that Te­heran would block oil ship­ments through the Strait of Hor­muz if the US banned Ira­nian oil sales.

Ten­sions have risen be­tween Te­heran and Wash­ing­ton af­ter US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump with­drew from a mul­ti­lat­eral nu­clear deal in May and reim­posed sanc­tions on the Is­lamic Repub­lic.

Rouhani said the US would not suc­ceed in cut­ting Iran’s eco­nomic ties with the re­gion and the world.

“The most hos­tile group in Amer­ica, with re­la­tion to Iran, has taken power,” Rouhani said, ac­cord­ing to the state-run Is­lamic Repub­lic News Agency. “Of course they never had a friend­ship with the peo­ple of Iran and we never trusted Amer­ica or oth­ers 100 per­cent.”

The US is also press­ing the Euro­pean Union to con­sider eco­nomic sanc­tions on Iran over its bal­lis­tic mis­siles, said Brian Hook, Wash­ing­ton’s spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Iran, on Tues­day.

“We would like to see the Euro­pean Union pass sanc­tions that would des­ig­nate the peo­ple and the or­ga­ni­za­tions that are fa­cil­i­tat­ing Iran’s mis­sile test­ing and mis­sile pro­lif­er­a­tion,” he said.

The United King­dom, France and Ger­many in March pro­posed fresh EU sanc­tions on Iran over its bal­lis­tic mis­siles, ac­cord­ing to a con­fi­den­tial doc­u­ment seen by Reuters, but were re­buffed by other EU na­tions in­clud­ing Italy, which are seek­ing to de­velop busi­ness ties with the Is­lamic Repub­lic.

Ira­nian Vice-Pres­i­dent Eshaq Ja­hangiri said on Tues­day that US sanc­tions were hit­ting vul­ner­a­ble peo­ple in Iran.

“When (Amer­i­cans) say their tar­get is the Ira­nian gov­ern­ment and there won’t be pres­sure on the sick, the el­derly and the weak in society, it’s a lie,” Ja­hangiri said, ac­cord­ing to IRNA.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.